Posted on: 10/31/2012
Description: Hurricane Sandy was a tropical cyclone which severely affected portions of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States in late October 2012, and became the largest Atlantic hurricane in diameter on record, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km). The eighteenth tropical cyclone and named storm and tenth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22. It became a tropical depression, quickly strengthened, and was upgraded to a tropical storm six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually intensified. On October 24, Sandy was upgraded to a hurricane, shortly before making landfall in Jamaica. Upon moving farther north, Sandy re-entered water and made its second landfall in Cuba during the early morning of October 25 as a Category 2 hurricane. During the late evening of October 25, Sandy weakened to Category 1 strength; in the early hours of October 26, it headed north through the Bahamas. Sandy briefly weakened to a tropical storm in the early morning hours of October 27, then restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane later that morning. Just before 8 a.m. EDT on October 29, Sandy turned to the north-northwest and started to make its expected approach towards the U.S. coast. At 7 p.m. EDT that evening, Sandy was declared a post-tropical cyclone, while still maintaining Category 1 strength. Sandy made its final landfall 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Atlantic City, New Jersey at about 8 p.m. EDT on October 29. In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected at least 24 states, from Florida to New England, with tropical storm force winds stretching far inland and mountain snows in West Virginia. The cyclone brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, flooding numerous streets, tunnels and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs. Assessments are that it caused the most damage in New Jersey, especially in the communities along the Jersey Shore, most of which have had massive destruction. Early estimates suggest damage of at least $20 billion to $25 billion (2012 USD), which would rank Sandy among the top five most destructive hurricanes on record.