Category Archives: Sandy Storm

Two Years On: Sandy Storm Inspires More Climate Research

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Mantoloking, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

This Wednesday marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, shocking photos showed the huge extent of the destruction caused by the storm, revealing widespread damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

Sandy has spurred an unprecedented amount of research, attempting to tackle the questions about what role climate change might have played in producing or worsening the storm, how global warming might influence similar storms in the future, and why the storm caused so much damage — $19 billion in the New York City area alone…

Read Full Article, Climate Central

New York, New Jersey look back 2 years after Sandy, Wral
The second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy arrived Wednesday in a region where recovery in New Jersey and New York is happening unevenly, with many houses, boardwalks and businesses rebuilt, but many other people still unable to return to their homes…

These Images Show Just How Much Some Neighborhoods Were Changed By Hurricane Sandy, Huffington Green

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Robert Young

Shoring Up the Nation’s Crumbling Coastlines
Hurricane Sandy pummeled the beaches of the Northeast, stripping away sand and dunes, and ploughing through seawalls. Can beaches be rebuilt to face fiercer storms and rising seas? And is there even enough sand to do it? Ira Flatow and guests discuss engineering the nation’s coasts for “the new normal.”

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine (10-09-2013)

Rebuilding the Shores, Increasing the Risks, The New York Times (04-09-2013)

A Year After Sandy, The Wrong Policy on Rebuilding the Coast, Yale E360 (04-09-2013)

5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good, LiveScience (10-29-2013)

Hurricane Sandy ‘s Silver Lining, A National Geographic Video

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photograph courtesy of: © Rob Young and Andy Coburn, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University

A breach torn through New York’s Fire Island by Hurricane Sandy is bringing new life in to a long-polluted ecosystem.

Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy ripped three holes through the barrier islands off Long Island’s southern coast. The Army Corps of Engineers quickly filled two. Though some flood-fearfull homeowners demanded that the third inlet be immediately closed, others noticed something miraculous occurring…

WATCH: A National Geographic Video: “Does Hurricane Sandy Have a Silver Lining” (October 2013)

Open Letter From The Community Of Coastal Scientists Regarding The Benefits Of Inlets Opened During Coastal Storms, By Robert S. Young, Phd, PG (03-21-2013)

Hurricane Irene Opens New Inlets on Hatteras Island, By Rob Young and Andy Coburn / Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, (08-29-2011)

Could This ‘Big U’ Save NYC From Another Superstorm ?

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Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Six winning entries in a groundbreaking federal design competition to protect cities from rising sea levels were announced on Monday, and include a colossal “Big U” system that will fortify New York City’s most vulnerable, low-lying areas.

“Big U” will see the installment of a 10-mile system of berms and other protections from West 57th Street down to Battery Park and then around to East 42th Street…

Read Full Article, Huffington Green

Hurricane Sandy Impacts Did Not Contribute to Subsequent Storm Flooding, A Study

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Bulls island. Bulls Island, at 5000 acres, is the largest of four barrier islands found within the Cape Romain NWR. Captions: USFWS. Photo source: ©© Hunter Desportes

By USGS;

Flooding in coastal areas bordering Great South Bay, N.Y. and Barnegat Bay, N.J. caused by winter storms that occurred following Hurricane Sandy was not influenced by changes Sandy made to barrier islands or other bay features, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

The study of Barnegat Bay and Great South Bay looked at data from November 2012 to October 2013, when winter storms brought water levels in these bays to among the 20 highest storm water levels reached from October 2007- October 2013.

“The frequent and extreme high-water levels caused by storms in these two bays in the months after Hurricane Sandy led to perceptions the mainland was more vulnerable to flooding,” said USGS oceanographer and coauthor of the study Neil Ganju. “This study shows that changes to bay features caused by Hurricane Sandy did not influence these post Sandy storm water levels.”

Hurricane Sandy caused extreme floods along portions of the northeast coast of the U.S. and cut new inlets across barrier islands in New Jersey and New York. Scientists investigated whether Hurricane Sandy had in some way reduced the protection provided by the barrier islands and the bays, leaving the mainland more vulnerable to flooding.

The study compared water level measurements made at stations within Great South Bay and Barnegat Bay to ocean water levels before and after Hurricane Sandy. Both are back barrier bays — bodies of water behind barrier islands and connected to the ocean through one or more inlets.

“Changes in water levels in the back-barrier bays are primarily caused by ocean water levels driving water into or out of the bays through inlets,” said USGS oceanographer and lead author of the study Alfredo Aretxabaleta. “The study showed that most of the ocean water level fluctuations caused by storms make their way into the bays, while only a fraction of tidal fluctuations do.”

The results showed that alterations to the barrier, inlet, and bay systems caused by Hurricane Sandy did not influence the high water levels caused by storms from November 2012 to October 2013. None of these post-Sandy storms opened new inlets or caused overtopping of the protective dunes and barrier beach systems. Both before and after Sandy, about 80 percent of storm surge—a temporary rise in water level caused by an offshore storm’s winds or low pressure—made its way into the back barrier bays, whereas only about 20 percent of the tidal fluctuations do. This suggests that whether the same storm occurred before or after Hurricane Sandy, the water level in the bays would be the same.

“While the existing barrier island and inlet system shields the mainland to a great extent from the daily tides, most of the storm surge, and all long-term changes in water level, such as those resulting from sea level rise, reach the mainland” said USGS oceanographer and coauthor Bradford Butman. “These results will inform coastal communities and planners how water levels in back-barrier bays respond to ocean fluctuations.”

Several studies related to Hurricane Sandy recovery, restoration and rebuilding efforts, many of which are funded by Disaster Relief Appropriations Act 2013, are currently underway.

Original Article, USGS

Artificial islands off New York and New Jersey Proposed As Storm Protection

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

A string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York could blunt the impact of storm surges that proved so deadly during Superstorm Sandy, according to a proposal vying for attention and funding as the region continues its recovery…

Read Full Article, AP / The Huffington Post

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine (Uploaded 10-09-2013)

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Robert Young

Decade of Fire Island Research Available to Help Understand Future Coastal Changes

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

By USGS,

A new resource about Fire Island, N.Y. is now at the fingertips of coastal managers, planners and the public that will be useful for understanding and predicting future change on the island.

The United States Geological Survey created the public website that details a decade’s worth of research that focuses on changes to the beaches and dunes of the barrier island and understanding what affects their change.

Fire Island was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. More than a year later, the USGS continues to study the changes left behind in its devastating path and generating critical information to aid the recovery process and help communities become more resilient against future storms.

“The website is intended to provide our federal, state and local partners and stakeholders with an access point to the large body of science we have produced, including the findings of the research that has been conducted at Fire Island,” said Cheryl Hapke, a USGS research geologist who is a principal investigator of the Fire Island Research.

In addition to understanding the impacts of the storm, USGS scientists are integrating analyses of short- and long-term coastal change to better understand what factors affect coastal shorelines and how geologic controls, sea-level rise and human activities contribute to their vulnerability. Results of the research at Fire Island are applicable to other barrier systems.

“Barrier islands are dynamic systems that also provide protection from future storms to the built environment,” Hapke said. “A thorough understanding of the long-term and short-term evolution of barrier islands can lead to models that better predict future changes to the coastal system at Fire Island.”

Fire Island is the longest of the barrier islands that lie along the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. The majority of the island is part of Fire Island National Seashore and is a unique and important recreational and ecosystem resource.

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, beaches and dunes on Fire Island lost more than half of their pre-storm volume. Field surveys conducted immediately after Sandy documented low, flat beaches and extensive dune erosion. Assessment of over wash deposits, the material that was carried to the interior of the island, indicates that most of the sand lost from the beaches and dunes during Hurricane Sandy was moved offshore or down the coast.

Original Article, USGS

Hurricane Sandy Eroded Half of Fire Island’s Beaches and Dunes: New Report Quantifies Coastal Change, USGS
Beaches and dunes on Fire Island, New York, lost more than half of their pre-storm volume during Hurricane Sandy, leaving the area more vulnerable to future storms.

A Year After Sandy, The Wrong Policy on Rebuilding the Coast

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Mantoloking, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

One year after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the U.S. East Coast, the government is spending billions to replenish beaches that will only be swallowed again by rising seas and future storms. It’s time to develop coastal policies that take into account new climate realities…

Read Full Article, Yale 360 E

Waiting for the Next Superstorm

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Hurricane Sandy passed to the west of Haiti on 25 October 2012, causing heavy rains and strong winds, flooding homes and overflowing rivers. A coastal town is flooded. Captions and Photo source: ©© UN Photo / Logan Abassi

Excerpts;

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast United States, causing an estimated 68 billion dollars in damage and paralysing the world’s financial nerve centre. But days before, in the Caribbean, the same storm ran roughshod over Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and other countries, causing widespread loss of life and destruction that the region is only beginning to recover from.

The hurricane was one of several in the past decades that meteorologists had previously considered “once in a century” events…

Read Full Article, IPS News

5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good

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Hurricane Sandy severely eroded dunes and lowered the beach elevation on Fire Island in New York. Photo source: USGS

Excerpts;

Some people and places may never be the same since Hurricane Sandy hit the northern Atlantic Coast on Oct. 29, 2012. The lingering effects include lives lost and irreplaceable mementos. Barrier islands were changed forever. But the vulnerabilities revealed by Superstorm Sandy could also help make the East Coast better prepared for the next big hurricane…

Read Full Article, LiveScience

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact, By The Numbers, Huffington Post

Rebuilding the Shores, Increasing the Risks, The New York Times

Shoring Up the Nation’s Crumbling Coastlines

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, by Pr. Robert Young