Superstorm Sandy

Part of the Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters exhibition.

Superstorm Sandy Dynamic Lead

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York City and the surrounding area. Why was it so destructive? Sandy was huge, but its winds were far from the worst New York had seen. The storm brought less than an inch of rain, and its arrival took no one by surprise.

A terrible coincidence is partly to blame. In some of the worst-hit places, an unusually high tide arrived at almost the same moment as an exceptionally massive storm surge. Explore this map to see how – and why – Sandy became New York's greatest natural disaster.