Lessons from Sandy: What are the take-aways for Maine? [2013]

Superstorm Sandy impacts and lessons learned in New York: Jay Tanski, New York Sea Grant Program
Jay Tanski’s Presentation (4 MB)
Superstorm Sandy was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the coast of New York. Record storm surges and the largest waves ever recorded caused extensive damage along the shoreline and a wide range of impacts, some which were anticipated and others that were largely unexpected. This presentation will look at some of these impacts with a focus on the Long Island and New York City Metropolitan area.

Nor’easter impacts: John Cannon, National Weather Service
John Cannon’s Presentation (5 MB)
Intense, slow moving Nor’easters can lead to coastal flooding along vulnerable communities and estuaries in Maine and New Hampshire. Recently, empirical studies in this region have also suggested that the combined, synergistic effects of storm tides and large, battering waves created by these storms can lead to enhanced splash-over damage. In order to better understand the complex environmental conditions associated with this coastal erosion, the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine has partnered with the Wells National Estuarine Reserve, Maine Geological Survey, Maine Sea Grant and other federal agencies. The ultimate goal is to build a conceptual model for forecasters and other scientists to improve their prediction of erosion and inundation processes in our region. Coastal flooding and environmental conditions can lead to both extratropical storm surge and building of high energy waves along our coastline. These high impact events have occurred with notable storms, including the “Perfect” and “Patriot’s Day” storms, and most recently, the devastating landfall of “Sandy” in October 2012. Collaborative partnerships focus on the improvement of predicting erosion from such storms along our shoreline.

Monitoring trends and how Maine can prepare: Peter Slovinsky and Steve Dickson, Maine Geological Survey
Peter Slovinky and Steve Dickson’s Presentation (21 MB PDF)
Maine narrowly escaped the wrath of Superstorm Sandy but experienced a storm with the power of a winter northeaster. Maine’s largest storm tide came from the Blizzard of 1978 when water levels rose about 2 feet over the level of the highest tides. There have been many storm surges that were larger than the Blizzard of 1978, but their timing was such that the tide was low during the peak of the storm. We present a storm tide scenario based on historical data with slightly different timing, discuss the water levels to prepare for, and show maps of some areas that could be inundated by this possible event, “Maine’s Superstorm.”

Session Notes (PDF)