This week, lets talk about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Chicago area.
On the East Coast, well over 15 people million lost power and so far over 40 people killed. People still do not take these storms serious and stay home. This is the worst storm to ever hit the United Stated. The strength of the storm was not the issue. The size of the storm was over 2,200 miles wide from east to west.
The problem was where it hit. It was no longer considered a hurricane when snow got wrapped in it. It became a hybrid storm. Some area west picked up a few feet of snow while the coast of New York and New Jersey got pounded by storm surge and wind. The storm made landfall during a full moon and high tide. The last storm even close to this reshaped the East Coast, and this storm was worse. They are talking 20+ billion already in damage with that likely to rise as well as the death toll.
Now the impact it had on Chicago was amazing. I was on the lake shore yesterday afternoon in Chicago. The water rise and waves were unlike anything I have ever seen – 20+ foot seas and waves crashing the walls over 50 feet high at times. As seen in the photo, it was extremely dangerous and powerful.
The storm was so massive that before it even made landfall the clouds were overtaking Illinois. The north winds from the west side of the storm was gusting over 60 mph down the lake. When I headed to the south side of the lake in Indiana, there was a lot of beach erosion and dangerous waves. Being pelted with sand and spray, the open winds coming down the lake were so intense I put my back to the wind and leaned back and never fell. Roads locally were covered in about 6 inches of sand. These roads were a good 100 feet from the water. It was an amazing system that had everything and affected tens of millions of people from Canada south to Florida west to Arkansas and north to Wisconsin.
Pretty much there's not much to really give for safety when these storms come in. Its very rare here for this to happen from an East Coast landfalling hurricane, but it did and the power was just amazing. The storm had 90+ mph winds, heavy rain, a slow moving storm, a big time storm surge, ice and snow all the way west to Illinois and Arkansas. The safety tips I can give along lakeside areas is stay away. Stay back. There's no surviving this really if you happen to get swept in. As I said on the WTTW 11 news show "Chicago Tonight" yesterday, there was one crash of a wave over 50 feet high that came over and we took off running but it moves three times faster than you can run. I was 50 feet from the wave and ran about 10 feet, and it was almost up to my knees. It was an awesome powerful system unlike anything we have ever seen in this country.
Stay safe and stay warm everyone!