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. A sign outside a storefront in Buffalo, New York.
    Environment

    Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

    The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?

  2. photo: a high-speed train in Switzerland
    Transportation

    The Case for Portland-to-Vancouver High-Speed Rail

    At the Cascadia Rail Summit outside Seattle, a fledgling scheme to bring high-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver found an enthusiastic reception.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. photo: a woman on an electric scooter
    Transportation

    Most Electric Scooter Riders Are Men. Here's Why.

    Most users of micromobility devices like dockless scooters and e-bikes are young men. Fixing that gender gap may take more than just adding safety features.

  5. Environment

    The City Known for ‘Sewer Socialists’ Actually Has Great Sewers

    Milwaukee now averages a mere 2.4 combined sewer overflows a year, thanks to a massive underground tunnel, green infrastructure, and flood-control measures.

×