Considering that we are only a little more than a decade into the 21st Century, it may be too soon to refer to Superstorm Sandy as “The Storm of the Century.” Still, it’s a storm many of us will long remember.
Of course, what one would call Sandy or any other such catastrophe (“weather event” is a bit of an understatement) depends upon how much one was affected by it.
What some people refer to the Storm of the Century for the 20th Century happened in March 1993, and it hammered much of the eastern half of the country. Even the Florida Panhandle got four inches of snow, and our area didn’t escape from the heavy snow and wind it brought.
As far as Sandy is concerned, parts of our region got off lightly compared to what happened elsewhere. More than 7 million people along the East Coast were without power, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the devastation on the Jersey Shore was “some of the worst we’ve ever seen.” Damage from the storm could amount to as much as $20 billion.
The farther one went west in our area, the worse the problem was. No injuries or life-threatening situations were reported, although high winds and torrential rain made life miserable for many residents. Still, thousands were without power in Allegany County and nearby West Virginia.
It was different in Garrett County, which experienced a blizzard. Power was out, some people had to be evacuated and some roads were impassible because of downed trees.
People in some other areas in lower elevations woke up to find small amounts of snow — so if the temperatures had been colder, their problems could have been much worse.
If the situation is bad where you are, but you are all right at home, stay there. Give crews a chance to open the roads. Keep your cell phones charged and stay in contact with others who may not have fared as well as you did.
Recovery from such events takes time. Be patient and, most of all, be smart and be safe.