Flooding potential from Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm: Manhattan

I lived on a sailboat for two years. I sailed with my husband from Maine to Florida, crossed the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, and reversed the trip. We did that twice. Once we traveled from Naples FL to Rhode Island on a 21 foot Sea Ray, lol.

When you travel 10,000 nautical miles at an average rate of three miles per hour, you see everything. One thing that always had struck me was the trip through the East River and Hell's Gate.

The red streak is the section of Hell Gate, the entryway between Long Island Sound and the Port of New York. It is a place of rocks and converging tide-driven currents from the Long Island Sound, Harlem River strait, Upper Bay of New York Harbor and other channels. In other words, a lot of water has to flow through a very narrow channel every few hours as the tide changes.

Anyway, once you're through, you get a slow ride down the river while sightseeing the skyline of Manhattan at eye level. It is really beautiful and amazing.

What surprised me was the low level of the island. The whole island is about eight feet above the water. With the skyscrapers built almost to the edge and their great height, it looks for all the world like the buildings are pressing the island down into the water. Or alternately it looks like the island can't hold them up, with only a few feet of freeboard.

Here are a couple of shots from Google Earth so you see what I mean-

In the aerial photo above you can see the Brooklyn Bridge, the ferry terminals and in between, the cars on FDR Drive.
Zooming to street view, you can see the pavement at the helipad at the same spot as above, the skyscrapers, and the multicolored section that is the East River. The Drive is only a few feet above the river.

Why all this? Because Hurricane Irene last year flooded lower Manhattan at a 4.5 foot surge. The storm surge this time is predicted to be double that, not to mention the historic rain. The news folks are reporting record destructive potential. "NOAA's hurricane research division on Sunday ranked the surge and wave "destruction potential" for Sandy — just the hurricane, not the hybrid storm it will eventually become — at 5.8 on a 0 to 6 scale'

This storm is indeed ominous and important. God either causes or allows everything that happens to happen. I don't know His mind, other than what He has revealed to us in His word, but we know from His word that persistent sin will result in judgment. Already "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness..." (Romans 1:18).

I worry greatly for New York. I pray for the people there, that they heeded the evacuations. But where is there to go? The storm is predicted to affect all the way down to NC, all the way north to Maine, and all the way west to the Mountains and the Great Lakes. They are even predicting power outages from the storm in Chicago and Detroit. The LORD is mighty indeed. He is worthy to be worshiped.

I just wanted you to know how low the island of Manhattan is compared to the water level of the adjacent rivers.

Even with that dire news, this is not our home. Heaven is. How do you get there?

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

"And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved;" (Joel 2:32)

"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" (Acts 2:21)


  1. Frankenstorm is just bearing down here in NJ.

    No power loss here, but blowing debris off the sides of some houses already.

    Going to be an interesting night.

    1. Stay safe, Vincent. The outlook isn't good, lots of flooding already. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth. :)
    I don't feel the urgency some are feeling. I think we'll be fine after all's said and done.


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