Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Comparing the Impacts of Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina...


Lately I've been hearing lots of folks talk about whether or not Sandy had a greater "impact" than Katrina.  If we look solely at the human toll (with regard to the loss of life), I don't think anyone can argue against the fact that Katrina was far worse than Sandy.  

With that said, and certainly with all due respect and condolences to those who lost friends, loved ones and family members in both events, if we take a look at the "bigger picture" across several types of impacts, Sandy starts to jump right up there in comparison - and not all of the numbers are in yet, either.

A blog post in today's New York Times "City Room" took a look at some of the other major impacts associated with both events:


You can read the full post on the Times blog for more details, as well as the ability to drill down for more information on each of the hyperlinks in the table shown above.

Naturally, with the extremely dense population that was directly impacted by Sandy compared to that of Katrina, the economic and other social impacts were tremendous, and likely unprecedented in modern history.  I noted that the New York Times did not include any reference to the transportation infrastructure (i.e., subways, tunnels, etc.) in their comparison, and that aspect alone puts several notches in Sandy's belt compared to Katrina, especially given the tremendous impact due to the higher population. 

As they point out in the article, this is a highly preliminary look at the situation (with respect to Sandy), as several statistics are still being calculated, and will be for months to come.  

For the record, I strongly disagree with point 1 on the table.  I have been presented with zero compelling evidence (other than unsubstantiated claims from the National Weather Service) that Sandy was "post-tropical" (i.e., not a hurricane) at landfall.

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1 comment:

Jake Alexander said...

This is an interesting comparison of the two storms. Living in New Jersey, I witnessed Sandy first hand. It was extremely destructive and caused many people I know to lose their homes. Others are still dealing with disaster repair. Both Katrina and Sandy were devastating hurricanes that impacted so many people.