Editor's Note: One year after Hurricane Sandy laid waste to countless businesses and homes across the eastern seaboard, we take a look back at those dramatic few days. Stay tuned tomorrow for more of our Sandy Anniversary coverage.
As with most events of significance, pointing to statistics can be telling -- providing a window into the sheer depth of an incident or activity. In the case of superstorm Sandy, those facts and figures, however fascinating, are also tragic. Not only did hundreds of people lose their lives, last year's hurricane and post-tropical cyclone left billions of dollars in damages and lost revenue in its wake.
Here's a look at the 100 years' storm, by the numbers:
- At its height of intensity, just over Cuba, Hurricane Sandy clocked in as a category 3 storm. It had lost strength by the time it hit the East Coast of the U.S.
- Sandy was so large that tropical storm force winds extended over an area more than 1,000 miles in diameter.
- The superstorm forced coastal water surges from Florida to Maine -- with parts of New York City seeing the worst flooding. Recorded water level values there exceeded 9 feet above the Mean Higher High Water line.
- More than 12 inches of rainfall led to subsequent flooding in rivers, streams and creeks throughout portions of the Mid-Atlantic.
- Sandy’s peak winds increased to near 100 miles per hour over the Gulf Stream, approximately 220 nautical miles south of Atlantic City, N.J.
- In the U.S., Sandy took 117 lives from October 28 through November 30, 2012. In total, 286 people from various countries are said to have perished as a result of the storm.
- Damage estimates from Sandy range from $50 billion to $68 billion.
- In New York City, loss estimates exceed $19 billion -- with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority sustaining roughly $5 billion in damages to the city's infrastructure and lost revenue.
- Twenty-four states were impacted by the superstorm.
- Counties in eight states (Conn., Md., N.C., N.J., N.Y., R.I., Va., and W.Va.) and Puerto Rico were declared disaster areas.
- Weather Forecast Office, River Forecast Centers and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction accrued 27,633 new Facebook likes during the event.
- In January, Congress approved more than $60 billion in aid for Sandy victims.
- Insurers have approved roughly $8 billion in National Flood Insurance Program payments to policyholders. The average check insurers cut was just south of $55,000.
- The Small Business Administration received 14,903 business disaster loan applications. So far, the SBA has approved 4,111 for $485 million business disaster loan applications.
- With help from the NYC New Business Acceleration Team businesses shuttered due to Sandy reopened in 138 days, on average. Without this assistance, businesses opened in 216 days on average.
For more, here's a timeline from the Federal Emergency Management Agency breaking out the events during and after the superstorm.
In the mad dash to stock up on supplies in anticipation of Sandy, grocery stores showed huge numbers of shoppers. Here, Foursquare's data scientist, Blake Shaw, posted this image of the uptick in grocery store check-ins when everyone was grabbing supplies before Sandy hit.
Image credit: Foursquare
The Federal Emergency Management Agency
NYC Department of Small Business Services
Small Business Administration, press office (October 2013)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy" (May 2013)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report"
-Neil Parmar contributed reporting to this post.