By HARLEM RENAISSANCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

 Hurricane Sandy caused power outages across New York City in October 2012. PHOTO: Augie Ray/Flickr
Hurricane Sandy caused power outages across New York City in October 2012. PHOTO: Augie Ray/Flickr

Hurricane Sandy was a massive super storm that unleashed high winds and large-scale flooding in New York and New Jersey in October 2012. Three years ago, Sandy’s hurricane-force winds brought down trees and power lines causing at least an estimated $50 billion dollars in damage.

Taikuan, a middle school student at Renaissance Leadership Academy, remembers he “had no power and lost water. We used candles and flashlights for a source of light”.

But the most enduring impact may have been the massive swell of water that passed atop land, obliterating beaches, drowning boardwalks, filling subway tunnels, and destroying cables.

Hurricanes mostly happen late in the year during fall. Ocean water has to be warm (around 80o F) for warm air to rise creating a low pressure at the surface, forming a storm. When winds up to 74 miles an hour happen, the storm is called a hurricane. Scientists measure hurricanes from planes that fly through the storm and with satellites which get wind signals. They can predict hurricanes that are two or three days away based on computer models of hurricanes.

Hurricanes are predicted to become stronger each year because climate change is warming the oceans and hurricanes need warm water in order to form. As sea levels rises, hurricanes will also cause more floods and damage. Diana, another Renaissance Leadership Academy student, predicts that “New York will become more vulnerable to hurricanes because New York is an island,” but her classmate Ricky thinks that “scientists will study hurricanes and find ways to stop tragic damages that happened in the past”.