House Raising New Jersey

If you want to know when NJ house raising became such a booming business, look no further than October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy blasted into the East Coast and swamped tens of thousands of homes in historically high flood waters. Every since then, house raising in NJ has been on the rise as thousands do what they can to stay above future floods.

So just how big an impact DID Hurricane Sandy have? Let’s review the numbers:

Lost Business Activity – Somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 billion (yes, billion with a B) of business activity was lost thanks to the storm, according to HIS Global Insight, and that was just in the first month following landfall. That’s a lot of lost business!

Waves, Waves, Waves – The largest waves associated with Hurricane Sandy were just under 40 feet, about 500 miles off the southeast coast of Atlantic City. No waves that large hit the coast, though!

Homes That Lost Power – Residents of New Jersey experienced devastating power losses that sometimes lasted more than two weeks, but the outages spread further than just New Jersey. Up to 17 states were impacted going as far west as Michigan, and more than 8,100,000 homes lost power.

Getting Power Back In New York – In New York City, power outages are a much bigger deal than in the suburbs, which is why some 57,000 utilities workers from 30 states descended on the city to help Con Edison restore power to the country’s most populous city.

The Power of the Internet – Social media sites like Twitter and Instagram utterly exploded (figuratively) during and after Hurricane Sandy. To what extent? Upwards of 10 Sandy related photos were uploaded to Instagram every second on the day of the storm.

Higher Than It Used To Be – The real damage from Sandy came in the storm surges that caused water levels much higher than normal. Just how high? The highest storm surges were about 12.5 feet above normal in King’s Point, NY.

That’s One Big Storm – Sandy didn’t just do a lot of damage – it was also HUGE. The storm was some 820 miles in diameter. To put that in perspective, you could combine Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Irene and that combined storm would still only be half as large. Wow!

The Power of the Internet Redux – Instagram wasn’t the only site to blow up with activity. Between October 27 and November 1, there were about 20 million tweets sent to Twitter about Hurricane Sandy.

It Was More Than Houses – People focus a lot on the property damage involved, which is why house lifting NJ is such a hot topic these days, but lives were lost, too. About 177 Americans died as a result of Sandy and some 286 people were killed overall as a result of the storm.

To The Rescue – Help was delayed, but it eventually came. Congress approved some $60 million in federal aid to the cleanup, recovery and rebuilding effort following Hurricane Sandy.

All in all, these numbers are pretty big. But of course, so was Hurricane Sandy.