More evidence that scientists know what they're talking about.

Using flood data of FEMA's Hurricane Sandy Impact Analysis and the U.S. Geological Survey's reports on high water marks, together with predictions based on the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the crack mapmakers at WNYC's Data News Team -- John Keefe, Steven Melendez and Louise Ma -- have assembled a map that contrasts the two.

Crimson, orange and yellow show the predicted impact of Sandy or another hurricane on the New York area -- what were known to New York City residents as Zones A, B, and C. In blue, the flooding as it happened when the storm made landfall on the evening of Monday, October 29.

The striking thing about the map, which includes all areas of New York and New Jersey affected by the storm surge, is how close the contours of the estimates were to reality. Though the degree of damage varied from place to place, flipping back and forth from projection to reality is an affirmation of how well-informed we were about what a storm surge would look like -- and, despite that, ill-prepared.

Map courtesy of WNYC.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

    You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

  2. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  3. Equity

    Mobile Home Owners Find a Lifeline Against Displacement

    When a landlord sells a mobile home park, it can upend an entire community. Through co-ops, residents are finding a way to stay where they live and control their rent costs.

  4. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”

  5. Equity

    The ‘War on Poverty’ Isn’t Over, and Kids Are Losing

    Federal spending on America’s children is heading down, and the drop in funding could be dramatic.