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Lake Worth, Boynton Beach Among Florida Communities Hit Hardest by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy’s structure and trajectory made it extremely deadly further north. Although they were able to remain relatively safe during the storm compared to their northern counterparts, many Florida residents went without power for days in its aftermath; some had their cars and homes damaged by wind-carried debris, while other suffered real estate damage due to flooding.

Lake Worth was one of the hardest hit communities during the storm. Emergency workers scrambled to secure beaches in the storm’s wake, banning surfers and swimmers and closing piers to keep residents safe. The William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier, located on Lake Worth Beach, was closed on October 24 in preparation. The pier, which juts over the Atlantic Ocean, ended up sustaining heavy damage during the storm. High winds and turbulent waves wreaked havoc on the pier’s structure, jeopardizing its stability. A nearby restaurant, located off the pier’s edge, luckily did not sustain damages and remained open.

Further south, in Boynton Beach, county officials closed beaches and piers in Sandy’s wake but were having trouble getting surfers out of the ocean. Reporters cited an earlier incident during a previous storm where a group of eight onlookers standing on a Boynton Beach pier was injured when a massive wave crashed down upon them. Thankfully, beach officials were able to keep citizens safe and avoid a similar tragedy this time around.

Scientists and meteorologists are still searching for clues as to the cause of the massive storm, which made landfall on October 29. One study discussed at the Geological Society of America suggests that climate change may have aggravated the storm, making is more severe for the northern states of America. Climatologists say that Hurricane Sandy was not created by changes to the earth’s climate, but that the changing atmosphere may have contributed to its power. The storm’s huge waves were more severe due to the increase in sea levels over the last 100 years, sources say. Increases in temperature in the Arctic may also be to blame for Sandy’s strange trajectory towards the upper east coast.

Hurricane Sandy caused astronomical damage in the United States. Sources suggest that the storm caused an estimated $60 billion dollars’ worth of damage in the U.S. alone. $20 billion of that damage was property damage, while nearly $40 billion was inflicted on businesses. One of the most affected industries was the East Coast oil refiners, 70% of which were shut down in the storm’s wake. The storm also cut power to nearly 8 million U.S. homes.

Estimates say some businesses, such as restaurants, are likely to suffer more than others following the storm. Days and weeks without business will wreak havoc on the businesses as they struggle to make up the time lost. Also affected were air transit systems, which had to cancel nearly 15,000 flights throughout the northeast due to threats of the storm. However, some optimists say investments into cleaning and building supplies, as well as the jobs that repairing home and businesses bring, will contribute to a rebound in the U.S. economy.

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