A satellite image of Hurricane Sandy.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: October 28, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – While different in formation, Hurricane Sandy – which formed quite late in the season – is taking on the qualities of the long-forgotten but incredibly destructive New England Hurricane of September 1938. One weather expert said Sandy could be worse in terms of damage and loss of life. Let's hope not.
That storm reportedly killed approximately 800 people, damaged or destroyed 57,000 homes and caused property damage that would be approximately $4.7 billion in 2012 dollars. The damage was largely from the storm surge and high winds. Rhode Island took the brunt of the storm and while damage was extensive, property losses to businesses in Providence were compounded by looting mobs, as it was the tail-end of the Great Depression.Watch this informative and historic news reel from that time. Shocking footage! It literally changed the coastline, the narrator says.
Could we see a similar scenario play out in coming days with our Halloween "Frankenstorm"? We understand that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City is literally throwing caution to the wind and is not ordering a mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas. Will Bloomberg be the Ray Nagin of 2012?
Hurricane Sandy has already killed more than 50 people in the Caribbean. Forecasts show it running into two winter weather systems as it moves inland, according to ABC News, “creating a hybrid superstorm” complete with high winds, torrential rains and several feet of snow expected in some areas.
Curiously, in October 1997, the American Radio Relay League conducted a simulated emergency test (SET) in Westchester County, New York, a “drill” that was based on the aforementioned New England Hurricane of ’38. It’s name? HURRICANE SANDY!
What are the odds, eh? Couldn't be HAARP, could it?
And even more incredible is that the storm was scheduled to follow roughly the same track up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, with maximum sustained winds at 125 m.p.h. This week's storm? They say it will be "epic." And "supplies are running low." Take note, folks.
Hurricane Sandy? Well, preparations are being made. Millions are likely to be affected. A family member of this reporter even canceled her trip this weekend to Westchester County, New York because of this storm. Yes, Westchester County, where that “Hurricane Sandy” drill played out 15 years ago.
And then there is that name – “Sandy.” Why Sandy? We couldn’t help but think of the song “Hey Sandy” by the jangle-pop trio Polaris (three/fourths of the Connecticut band Miracle Legion). It was featured as the intro music to the 1990’s Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete – a show filmed in New Jersey, where Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall in a matter of days.
Here are the opening lyrics to “Hey Sandy”: “Hey smilin’ strange / You’re lookin’ happily deranged / Could you settle to shoot me? Or have you picked your target yet?” The song is interpreted as being about one of the victims of the Kent State Massacre in Ohio on May 4, 1970. Sandra Lee “Sandy” Scheuer was shot in the neck and died. She wasn’t even protesting. English songwriter Harvey Andrews would record a song called “Hey Sandy” about Sandra Lee Scheuer.
It is said that the meteorological effects of Sandy will be felt as far west as Ohio, including Kent, Ohio, home of Kent State. And of course Ohio is a critical battleground state in the upcoming presidential election. Will the election be delayed?
Twenty-one years ago – nearly to the day – Ray Leonard, a sailor who rode out the “Perfect Storm” of 1991 in his sailboat the Satori, (and featured in the Sebastian Junger best-seller The Perfect Storm, also made into a movie starring George Clooney) told ABC News that landlubbers had better be prepared, “(b)ecause if this does hit, you’re going to lose all those little things you’ve spent the last 20 years feeling good about.”
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report