Super Storm Sandy described in New book: High Tide On Main Street

Stanger than fiction. Last Monday night, October 22nd, Tropical storm "Sandy" -- now Hurricane Sandy -- was just slowly forming about six hundred miles south of Jamaica in the Caribbean, not raising any particular concern at the time.

Twelve hours EARLIER, I sent my book "High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis" to Amazon to be listed for sale the next day. There is no way that I had any idea what would happen over the next week. 

As the whole world now knows, Sandy is likely to be one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the US.  It is a combination of storm surge, an unusual path from east to west, unfortunate extreme tides with the full moon, and the slowly rising sea leel of the last half century. The forecast is that the storm surge in the greater New York area could hit as high as twelve feet - a deadly situation.

It is all described on page 121 of my book. I am as stunned as anyone. Actually I describe the scenario of a category 4 hurricane that comes from the same direction as Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane. Here are three of the relevant paragraphs:

New York City does share one similar concern with Boston and Providence. The broad arm of  Long Island, and the rivers around Manhattan that continue up the Hudson River Valley can, under certain conditions, act as a funnel, amplifying storm surge effects for Manhattan.
 
The New York Times carried an Op-Ed on September 25, 1999 entitled, “Hurricanes on the Hudson.” Perhaps few noticed it; many of those that did likely wanted to forget what they read. Erik Larson cited a 1995 study of what could occur if a category four hurricane approached New York City from a particular direction:
 
When researchers with the National Weather Service, working with
the Army Corps [of Engineers], applied the model to New York
City they discovered, to their great surprise, that the slope of the sea
bed and the shape of the New York Bight, where the coasts of New
York and New Jersey meet, could amplify a surge to a depth far
greater than if the same surge had occurred elsewhere. The studies
showed that a category four hurricane moving north-northwest
at 40 to 60 miles an hour, and making landfall near Atlantic
City—which would drive the storm’s most powerful right flank into
Manhattan—could create a storm surge of nearly 30 feet at the
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The water could rise as rapidly as 17 feet
in one hour.
 

The devastating damage of "Sandy" shows the stark reality of our vulnerability to rising seas, usual tides, storm surge and erosion.

Perhaps my explanations will help people understand what else lies ahead. The fact is that my description of the scenario on pages 120 - 122 was a hypothetical case of "what if".  The core of my book, the inevitable course of sea level rise is a near certainty. Please share.  We all have a lot to learn.

 

 

 

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I encountered this link you might enjoy from the New York Times about what to do in response to sea level rise.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/nyregion/protecting-new-york-city-befo...

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Im just glad we dont get that kind of weather here in the UK! Cheers for keeping us posted!
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