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Historic damage in parts of mid-Atlantic region, storm winds down overnight

Posted by David Epstein  October 29, 2012 10:00 PM

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Sandy has been reclassified now as a non- tropical system but is still causing major problems, especially to our south. The fact that an official hurricane warning was never put out for parts of New York and New England will be debated long after this storm ends. I think that when daylight returns the damage to some areas from New York City to Cape May New Jersey including Atlantic City will be catastrophic. Unfortunately, these storms can sometimes live up to their billing and this one is going to go down in history as one of the biggest. The cost of the storm alone will reach well into the billions. Fortunately, even with all the damage you will see tomorrow, most people in New England will still remember this as the windy storm that took out power. I am updating information Twitter at @growingwisdom and would love to hear from you.
fdr under.jpg

Rest of Tonight
The radar shows some downpours coming in off the ocean right now into eastern Massachusetts. I expect these to move away over the next couple of hours. Perhaps the only good part of the storm is the tropical air and temperatures flowing into the region. We will remain around 60F all night and with the winds subsiding, you could open a window a bit and let some of that fresh air inside. Many of you, including me, are in the dark. Open the refrigerator only if necessary and try to leave the freezer closed. Your food can keep cold for a day or so if the door remains closed. If you have a gas stove you can light it manually. Don’t use a grill inside the house. Canned food is great and many of us might be eating it for a few days. Hot water stays hot in the tank for at least a full day without power, use the water sparingly. Check your sump pump to see how high the water is rising. The good news is that the strong winds are moving the rain area very quickly so any flooding to basements should be limited.
The main threat for damage overnight will be the high tide around midnight. Again, since the majority of you don’t live on the water, this is an event you will see on the news and not experience. For tonight’s tide the winds will be blowing the water towards the southern coastline and I expect that for the south coast this high tide could be the worse one of the storm. Flooding at high tide is a wait and see proposition unfortunately it looks as thought the storm surge in and around New York City is ending up higher than predicted. Finally, here as winds are subsiding power crews will be able to work throughout the night. The number of homes without power has already peaked and will decline for the rest of the night.
The weather tomorrow will be windy and there will be a few showers from time to time. Again, rain is not a big issue with this storm in most of New England. This image shows just how little rainfall will fall through tomorrow afternoon including what has already come down. Mond Tues Rainfall_Days_1-2.gif There could be scattered additional power outages the first part of the day as some of those broken limbs fall on power lines. However, the trend will be for improvement. The early afternoon high tide will still bring some coastal flooding but not nearly to the extent of the previous one.

Coastline damage
New records for high water have been set at Battery Park in New York City. This will be but one of many records set in the mid-Atlantic region from this storm. When daylight returns and authorities and reporters get to some of these locations I expect we will see major damage to areas that haven't experienced this type of storm in decades. Parts of Long Island are underwater and those people that did not listen to evacuation warnings may have lost their lives.

Since the storm will basically sit and spin itself to death over northern Maine I am not expecting rapid clearing. We will see clouds and a few showers much of the week. The sun will come out from time to time Thursday and Friday but we have to wait until the weekend for a truly sunny day. Temperatures will be cool but not cold throughout the rest of the week. A peak into next week shows that we may see a touch of mild weather.

Gardening this week
There are many plants that bloom in the fall. Toad lily, asters, mums, joe pye weed, roses and many others wait or continue blooming into late fall. It's a good idea to have a garden with plants that bloom in all different season. When I design my gardens I select plants that bloom from February to November here in the northeast. Additionally, but adding some special evergreens, I can bring color to the garden all year long.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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