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Hurricane Sandy Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here’s a look at Hurricane Sandy, which was also called “Superstorm Sandy.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states and all of the eastern seaboard. Causing an estimated $85.9 billion in damages, it was the fifth-costliest US storm behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ian in 2022, and hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

October 22-29, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy, as a hurricane and a post-tropical cyclone, is directly responsible for at least 147 deaths in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center. The death toll in the United States directly attributed to Sandy includes 48 in New York, 12 in New Jersey, five in Connecticut, two in Pennsylvania and five in other states. In the Caribbean, Haiti (54 deaths) and Cuba (11 deaths) are the countries affected the most, and there is one death in Canada.


October 29, 2012 – Hurricane-hunter aircraft measure Sandy’s central pressure at 940 millibars – 27.76 inches – the lowest barometric reading ever recorded for an Atlantic storm to make landfall north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The previous record holder was the 1938 “Long Island Express” Hurricane, which dropped as low as 946 millibars.

October 29, 2012 – The surge level at Battery Park in New York tops 13.88 feet at 9:24 p.m., surpassing the old record of 10.02 feet, set by Hurricane Donna in 1960.

October 29, 2012 – New York Harbor’s surf reaches a record level when a buoy measures a 32.5-foot wave. That wave is more than seven feet taller than a 25-foot wave churned up by Hurricane Irene in 2011.


October 22, 2012 – Sandy develops into a tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea.

October 24, 2012 – Sandy develops into a Category 1 hurricane.

October 24, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy makes landfall near Kingston, Jamaica, with winds of 80 mph.

October 25, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in southeastern Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds.

October 25, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in Haiti and the Bahamas.

October 26, 2012
– Is a Category 1 with winds of 80 mph.
– New York, Maryland, Washington, Pennsylvania and North Carolina declare a state of emergency.
– Maine Governor Paul R. LePage signs a limited Emergency Declaration that will allow power crews from other states and/or Canada to help Maine prepare for Sandy.

October 27, 2012
The National Weather Service downgrades Sandy to a tropical storm.
– Sandy strengthens to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph.
– New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts declare states of emergency.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie orders residents living in the barrier islands from Sandy Hook South to Cape May to evacuate. He orders the casinos to evacuate no later than 4 p.m. on Sunday.
– Amtrak cancels several of its runs that originate or end in East Coast stations.

October 28, 2012
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspends subway and commuter rail services at 7 p.m. Bus services are suspended at 9 p.m.
– Governor Andrew Cuomo directs Army and Air National Guard members to mobilize.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg orders evacuations in low-lying areas and public school closures.
– Rhode Island declares a state of emergency.
President Barack Obama declares a state of emergency in Connecticut, Washington, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
– The Broadway League cancels all Broadway performances for Sunday and Monday nights.
– The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey suspends all its train service at midnight until further notice.
– Airlines cancel flights.
– Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority suspends all services.

October 29, 2012
– Approaches land as a Category 2 storm.
– The New York Stock Exchange suspends all trading operations.
– Hurricane force winds extend 175 miles out from Sandy’s eye, making it much larger than most storms of its type.
– US Federal offices in Washington area close to the public.
United Nations headquarters in Manhattan closes.
Metro in Washington closes its transit service.
– Close to 11 million commuters are without service.
– West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declares a state of emergency due to snow and rain from Hurricane Sandy.
– 6,700 National Guard are on active duty or in the process of activating to support the governors of the states affected by Hurricane Sandy.
– Hurricane Sandy weakens to a post-tropical cyclone in the evening before making landfall along the coast of southern New Jersey.
– At least 110 homes burn to the ground in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York. The cause of the blaze is not immediately released.
– Three reactors experience trips, or shutdowns, during the storm, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission statement.

October 30, 2012
The New York Stock Exchange remains closed for the second consecutive day, the first time this has happened because of weather since 1888.
– Kennedy Airport reopens for some airlines to land planes beginning at 10 p.m.
– New York’s LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International Airport remain closed due to storm damage.
– 7.9 million businesses and households are without electric power in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
– 9,000 people in 13 states spend the night in 171 Red Cross operated-shelters
– The Red Cross reports that 300 blood drives are canceled due to the storm.
– The majority of the 1,400 Guardsmen in Massachusetts activated for Hurricane Sandy began the process of returning to their home stations.
– Helicopter performs rooftop rescues of five adults and one child trapped in houses on Staten Island due to rising waters.
– National Guard arrives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

October 31, 2012
– The New York Stock Exchange reopens after being shut down for two days. Bloomberg rings the opening bell.
– John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports reopen at 7:00 a.m. with limited service.
– Hoboken Hudson River ferry service restarts at 7 a.m. from New Jersey to the World Financial Center.
– Federal agencies in Washington reopen.
– Storm-related outages are down to just over 6.3 million.
– Obama and Christie tour the storm-damaged area near Atlantic City.
– New York’s Bellevue Hospital, one of the nation’s largest hospitals, begins evacuating the more than 725 patients after an investigation reveals that the damage sustained is extensive.

November 1, 2012
– 4.8 million customers remain without power in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
– LaGuardia Airport reopens with limited service.
– Manhattan public schools remain closed.
– Theaters on Broadway reopen.

November 2, 2012
Areas hit by Sandy are still experiencing gas shortage problems due to gas stations without electrical power.
– According to the US Chamber of Commerce Business Civil Leadership center, businesses have contributed more than $33 million in donations.
The New York City Marathon, scheduled for November 4, is canceled.
– 3.3 million customers remain without power.
– Con Edison restores power to approximately 460,000 out of 910,000 customers who were impacted.
– The US Energy Information Administration reports that approximately 67% of gas stations in metropolitan New York do not have gas for sale.

November 3, 2012
Gas rationing begins in 12 New Jersey counties.
– Con Edison announces it has restored electricity to more than 645,000 customers, or approximately 70% of all those who lost power.
– Cuomo announces the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has restored 80% of the New York subway system including subway service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
– The US Energy Information Administration estimates that 38% of stations in metropolitan New York do not have gasoline for sale.

November 4, 2012
– New York City Public Schools announce via their official feed that schools will begin to open on November 5. More than 80 of the schools in the district have experienced severe damage and cannot be opened that day.
– 2.206 million customers are without power in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
– Con Edison announces it has restored electricity to more than 750,000 customers, leaving 198,000 still without power.
– Bloomberg says between 30,000 and 40,000 people in New York could need housing.
– The US Energy Information Administration reports that roughly 27% of stations in metropolitan New York do not have gas available for purchase.
– The White House, which has already approved more than $137 million in direct assistance for those in need, says that about 164,000 Connecticut, New York and New Jersey residents have applied for federal assistance from FEMA.
– The New York City Board of Elections announces the decision to temporarily relocate or combine some polling locations across the five boroughs because of damage from Superstorm Sandy.

November 6, 2012
Residents in some of the affected areas are allowed to vote in the presidential election via email or fax, and some states allow voters to vote at any polling station.

November 7, 2012
– More than 600,000 people are still without power.
– Cuomo fires his chief of emergency management after the employee allegedly used government workers to clear a tree from his driveway in Long Island during the hurricane.
– The Red Cross announces it has raised nearly $103 million in donations for Sandy victims.
– More than 352,000 people have registered for assistance and more than $403 million have been approved for FEMA assistance.
– Over 71,000 applicants are eligible for more than $385 million in housing assistance.
– A nor’easter, a strong low pressure system with powerful northeasterly winds coming from the ocean ahead of a storm, hits the areas already damaged by Sandy.

November 9, 2012
Gas rationing begins in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.

November 28, 2012
– Christie estimates damage from Sandy related storms to be about $36.8 billion.
$29.4 billion in repair and restoration
$7.4 billion in supplemental mitigation protection and prevention coverage
– Christie appoints Marc Frenz, a former Executive Assistant Attorney General, to manage Sandy’s storm recovery within the Governor’s office.
– Bloomberg estimates the total public and private losses to New York City to be $19 billion.
Approximately $15 billion is for the losses not covered by private insurance
$3.8 billion will be compensated by insured private losses
– Cuomo says Sandy has cost New York state $41.9 billion.
$32.8 billion in repair and restoration costs
$9.1 billion in mitigation and prevention costs
At one point, close to three million people in New Jersey were without power.

January 11, 2013 – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) estimates that Sandy caused $5 billion dollars in losses: $4.75 billion in infrastructure damage and a further $246 million in lost revenue and increased operating costs.

February 12, 2013
According to a report released by the National Hurricane Center, Sandy is expected to rank as the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record, after Hurricane Katrina of 2005, and will probably be the sixth-costliest cyclone when adjusting for inflation, population and wealth normalization factors.

– The report indicates Sandy is responsible for the “greatest number of US direct fatalities related to a tropical cyclone outside of the southern states since Hurricane Agnes of 1972.”

– Cuomo announces that his administration has sent letters to various banks and mortgage service providers asking them to “use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of funds.” According to Cuomo, banks are holding more than $200 million in insurance payments meant for Sandy victims.

May 18, 2021 – The journal Nature Communications reports that climate change added $8.1 billion to the cost of the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

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