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. Homes in Amsterdam are pictured.
    Equity

    Amsterdam's Plan: If You Buy a Newly Built House, You Can't Rent It Out

    In an effort to make housing more affordable, the Dutch capital is crafting a law that says anyone who buys a newly built home must live in it themselves.

  2. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  3. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  4. Transportation

    China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter's Worst Nightmare

    What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

  5. Equity

    In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings

    The massive fines levied against the investment funds have been interpreted as a “declaration of war” from Mayor Ada Colau, who wants more affordable housing.