this storm will be much like Katrina in that some areas will be hit very very hard and just a mile or two away, very little....except losing electricty or safe water will affect everyone...
Losing the subways and rail transportation will also affect everyone.
I have a really bad feeling about this from reading the hurricane thread. 10 dead so far. Who knows what it will be tomorrow?
That seems to be Sandy all right, but you don't understand Katrina at all. Katrina's destruction extended for miles. Along the MS coast, the zone of total destruction extended over a mile from the coast. I saw entire ranks of large trees toppled like toothpicks, in Laurel, MS -- over 100 miles from the coast (that town was still w/o power six days after the storm, btw). In New Orleans, the flooding went on for miles, so that escape from a flooded area was not the matter of wading a few blocks or a 5 minute boat ride, but a mission requiring scores of airboats and helicopters, flying from first light till after nightfall, for over a week. Even the approaches to NOLA were damaged or destroyed, so that all traffic had to enter through just two choke points. And remember that there was no electrical service to speak of for up to 100 miles. Last night in NYC, no one was surrounded by water, those who had to get out could wade 1,000 feet or so and find themselves on dry land, with all the comforts of modern technology. It was bad if you were flooded or had a fire, and my heart goes out to them. But for 90% of New Yorkers, this end-of-the-world frankenstorm was just a stormy night.
Katrina was a large storm too, with a record-setting storm surge roughly twice what Sandy pushed. Sandy's distinction is her (unprecedented?) size, which brought rough weather to tens of millions. NJ seems to have taken most of the high winds and consequently suffered most of the power loss. That is no fun, but at least those homes are otherwise habitable in almost every case. People can drive out and return with charcoal, lanterns, camp stoves, full gas tanks, cash from a working ATM, and fresh supplies. Their biggest problem is that they have no way to vacuum the house or do laundry. And I can promise that living in an unpowered house at 50 degrees is a lot more bearable than one at 95. They'll live.
This morning a spoke to a fellow in Connecticut who had lost his power. He had a generator and access to all the gas he needed. He was stunned when I told him my post-Katrina house was off the grid for a month. People who weren't here will probably never grasp the logistical challenges we had to face. Every day I drive past houses that are still uninhabited to this day.