Hurricane Sandy, as a whole, was a remarkable storm. At its peak, its diameter of tropical storm force winds reached nearly 1,000 miles. Its pressure plummeted to 940mb (27.76″), surpassing the low pressure associated with the epic Hurricane of 1938. Being on the storm’s outer edge, Greater Boston was fortunate to escape the worst of the storm.
Wind was by far the biggest factor for Greater Boston. Winds ramped up to tropical storm force across much of the area on Monday. As expected, the North and South Shore clocked maximum winds of 35-45 MPH Monday afternoon with gusts between 50 and 75 MPH. Away from the coast, winds generally gusted to around 50 MPH.
A sampling of gusts includes: Hanover (71 MPH), Bedford (67 MPH), Boston, (62 MPH), Hingham (62 MPH on the water, 46 MPH at the Central Fire Station), Beverly (59 MPH), Plymouth (56 MPH), Norwood (54 MPH), Lynn (51 MPH).
Countless trees, wires, and telephone poles toppled in the gusty winds. Nearly 350,000 Bay State homes were without power for a time during the storm. Hingham fared relatively well, with only a few minor outages. School is closed on Tuesday for towns hardest hit by outages, including Scituate and Marshfield.
The winds also helped build seas to nearly 20′ just offshore. The powerful surf and gusty onshore winds led to widespread minor to moderate coastal flooding during the midday high tide on Monday. The flooding on the North and South Shore’s was fairly typical for a sizable Nor’Easter.
Coastal flooding was moderate to major across Massachusetts’ South Coast, but historic flooding was reserved for areas from Connecticut to New Jersey. It is there where epic flooding reached levels not seen for at least decades. Parts of Manhattan were flooded during the Monday night high tide, including portions of the subway.
Sandy will continue to spin herself out over the Northeast this week, leaving us with lots of clouds and a few occasional showers through mid-week. Fortunately Wednesday looks mainly dry, although trick or treaters will likely be dodging downed trees and limbs still.