Unprecedented Damage from the Unprecedented Sandy in Cuba
If there has been one word over used tonight on TWC it's been unprecedented ...
What is unprecedented is the amount of damage in Cuba unlike any in recent times. The death toll from Sandy is overall climbing to 21 and by the time you read this it will be higher as they are still finding bodies under debris in Cuba. Reports are just coming out of the Bahamas.
Why was the damage such a big surprise? I'm not sure as one thing Cuba has historically been good at is getting people out of harm's way. Not this time. Perhaps they thought it would be a mild Category 1 as the NHC advisories had predicted rather than the hurricane that looked like it was transitioning to a Cat 3 Major storm at landfall last night. The NHC held the intensity at 11PM lower than was expected by many within the meteorological community for their own reasons... it's their call, they are the official source. But, the rapid intensification prior to landfall may have taken Cuba by surprise. To continue this trend, she also intensified to Hurricane Status just prior to hitting Jamaica.
She has what we call "a taste for blood" and has had multiple landfalls. Many historical storms have had such a past in the islands before wreaking destruction to the north when they made landfall again in the US. Cleo and Hugo to name two were responsible for high death tolls in the islands and then.. they did it again when they moved north to Florida and South Carolina.
Really, the stories are heartbreaking. And, buildings that have escaped previous damage took a strong hit from Sandy. Even in Havana far from the eye there was substantial damage.
More later after the 11 PM.
Lastly.. understand that the Perfect Storm acted like a parasite and the cold front/blizzard basically wrapped around Grace, sucked the energy out of her and then exploded into a HUGE system and stalled out a bit affecting a very large area over a long time.
This storm is not Grace. The set up is similar, but different and it will basically transition into a large, hybrid sort of storm and so far there is no sign that it will stall out for hours... but rather move inland causing massive rain fall, possibly snow further in land or at higher elevations and wind damage.
Disruption of Transportation.
Flooding.. Irene barely damaged Brooklyn, but inland people died as they were swept away in inland flooding.