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In Sandy's Wake
November 5, 2012 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Documented: The People Who Were Killed By Hurricane Sandy

"I haven’t found a single news source that has aggregated the names and causes of death of every person killed by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, so I decided to compile one myself. It has taken hours of research, as most articles fail to identify the names of the deceased, choosing instead to depersonalize their stories...."
~Whitney Hess
posted by TangerineGurl (62 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
While not documenting every person, NPR has been working to pay tribute to many who have died from Superstorm Sandy. (Homeowners would prefer you not refer to it as a hurricane -- it affects their deductibles if it's a hurricane instead of a superstorm.)

I had to sit in my car for a few extra minutes because of this reporting.

I'm glad others are seeking to make this reporting more complete.

. (x however many required)
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by to sir with millipedes at 8:38 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:41 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by Miko at 8:42 PM on November 5, 2012


Sort of puts it all in perspective.
Thanks for bringing us the reality of this....
posted by HuronBob at 8:45 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by smirkette at 8:47 PM on November 5, 2012


Wow. The details are so much worse than the numbers. Particularly the way simple decisions like walking a dog or turning of the gas in the basement lead to awful outcomes.
posted by srboisvert at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2012 [12 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2012


Heartbreaking.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by shakespeherian at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by caddis at 8:54 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by mynameisluka at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2012


They were alive a week ago, eating dinner, laughing at bad jokes, arguing, daydreaming,..now they are gone - all too soon. Sad.
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posted by incandissonance at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2012


In New York, we've been hearing all week about the two little Staten Island boys. Seeing their picture for the first time is just overwhelming.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


So many people killed by falling trees and branches...
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:58 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the NPR report which destroyed me. The description and then the pause... listen to the very short audio for the full effect.

Again...

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posted by hippybear at 9:01 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by gaspode at 9:02 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by cashman at 9:02 PM on November 5, 2012


Those are too hard to read.

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posted by painquale at 9:07 PM on November 5, 2012


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posted by arcticseal at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2012


I did something very, very foolish in Brooklyn during the height of the storm, and have a great memory as a result, and reading these is making me feel both very lucky and very guilty for having taken things so lightly.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


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So many different reasons for dying: drownings and electrocutions, hypothermia, trees falling on houses, on people walking their dog, car accidents, people gassed, bleeding to death. Poor choices, panicked choices, heroic choices. Wrong place, wrong time. Why would you attempt to swim in the surf, take your dog for a walk, drive under flooding conditions, stay when told to evacuate? I understand that people don't want to lose their possessions--instead they lost their lives.

Sad. So sad.

I'm glad she made note of those who died elsewhere. I'm sure their stories are just as awful to contemplate.

My thoughts are with those without power and supplies. One can only hope there won't be more deaths due to electrocutions, lack of food and water, or freezing temps.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy... this is a list of Americans who died, not everyone who died. We even had one up in Toronto.

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posted by dobbs at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Avoid trees, basements and generators.

What the hell almost 20 deaths to Carbon Monoxide poisoning caused by people's generators? That's nuts.
posted by schwa at 9:17 PM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this.

The thing that struck me was the frustration of the CO deaths. To come through the worst of it and then...ugh. It's not anyone's fault, as such, but generators are outside-only devices, and then only away from doors and windows. It's so tempting to set it up under cover or somewhere you think won't make much difference, and CO is a motherfucker.
posted by maxwelton at 9:18 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


So thankful someone did this and so thankful there was nobody I knew.

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posted by bleep at 9:21 PM on November 5, 2012


Hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy... this is a list of Americans who died, not everyone who died.
Internationally

Let us not forget the devastation in the Caribbean, especially in Haiti where they haven’t yet recovered from the earthquake two years ago. 67 people died across the region with 51 in Haiti. Again, the numbers don’t do it justice, but news of individual deaths with names identified is particularly hard in that part of the world. If anyone knows of any detailed sources, please do share them with us.
posted by bleep at 9:23 PM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is devastating.

Dobbs: She is clear about the fact that she has not compiled the international deaths. (Although she focuses on Haiti, not Canada)
Internationally
Let us not forget the devastation in the Caribbean, especially in Haiti where they haven’t yet recovered from the earthquake two years ago. 67 people died across the region with 51 in Haiti. Again, the numbers don’t do it justice, but news of individual deaths with names identified is particularly hard in that part of the world. If anyone knows of any detailed sources, please do share them with us.
An admirable, heartbreaking, job.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:23 PM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


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Anthony in Tribeca. I go in and out of that location every day, and probably gave him snappy salutes.
posted by vrakatar at 9:24 PM on November 5, 2012


Rereading these, they remind me to be in awe of the stochastic nature of life and death.

May these folks' friends and families find peace. I can't imagine what they're going through.
posted by smirkette at 9:25 PM on November 5, 2012


(It doesn't help that generators are expensive and one of the most commonly stolen items during emergencies; people want to protect their investment and do things like run them in their garages. Happens out here, too.)
posted by maxwelton at 9:27 PM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thing that struck me was the frustration of the CO deaths. To come through the worst of it and then...ugh. It's not anyone's fault, as such, but generators are outside-only devices, and then only away from doors and windows. It's so tempting to set it up under cover or somewhere you think won't make much difference, and CO is a motherfucker.

It's worse than that. There are permanent consequences for high but sub-lethal CO inhalation. There will be people with brain damage as a result of this storm as not all the incidents will result in death. There are a few clinically interesting neuro-psychology patients used for research due to the unusually focused effects of CO on the brain.
posted by srboisvert at 9:27 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is very moving to see these all collected. Awful.

It drives home how many lives were saved - in this absolutely gigantic storm - by good predictions, good communication of the message to evacuate, or stay off the roads if you don't need to be driving, or stay indoors through the worst of the winds, or be careful how you use your generator.

Carbon monoxide detectors: everyone should have one in their home. If you don't have one, get one. They are like smoke detectors - cheap, easy to stick up, and they could save your life.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:29 PM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by DynamiteToast at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2012


The thing that struck me was the frustration of the CO deaths. To come through the worst of it and then...ugh. It's not anyone's fault, as such, but generators are outside-only devices, and then only away from doors and windows. It's so tempting to set it up under cover or somewhere you think won't make much difference, and CO is a motherfucker.

The worst for me was the two old people who died from hypothermia. Such a prolonged painful death, having to sit there and think through all of it that maybe soon the firemen would knock on your door and find you and just give you some warmth and you'd make it.

I tried really hard to take the author at her word and not make these people just statistics and to really read through their stories, and it's just heartbreaking.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:46 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm on Long Island and have just had my power restored after seven days. It's amazing to return to the modern world and start catching up with what happened quite nearby. Thanks for posting the names and details that you found.
posted by etaoin at 9:51 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Welcome back, etaoin! ♥
posted by TangerineGurl at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Tangerine Gurl! It was rather disorienting.
posted by etaoin at 9:57 PM on November 5, 2012


The thing that got me was the names and ages of people in their senior years who died alone. Was it that they didn't want to evacuate, or that they had no one to help them? That is my nightmare. I couldn't bring myself to read through each obituary to find out.

I just couldn't.

And not that one death is worse than another, but that mother of the two boys. I can't imagine how she'll continue. I'm almost sobbing thinking about the horror of it.
posted by aclevername at 10:10 PM on November 5, 2012


And the kids whose parents both died when the massive tree fell on their car. Argh.
posted by sibboleth at 10:18 PM on November 5, 2012


Don't worry dobbs, I have already gotten in touch with her about the lady in Toronto. This is a nice memorial.
posted by 256 at 11:15 PM on November 5, 2012


I own a dog and do people ever walk their dogs in the most godawful weather. It's habit. Full dark, -20 degrees and winds blowing and we're all there walking around in the woods like idiots. Last winter we had a huge storm with ice and snow and near hurricane force winds that ultimately took down many, many trees and I was there, walking the dog with some friends. We could hear branches breaking and saw a squirrel blow out of a tree over our heads and were like "hmm.. maybe this is a bad idea?" It's so mundane you just don't think of it as dangerous.

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posted by fshgrl at 11:19 PM on November 5, 2012


I've got no experience with storms and floods, and what surprises me is how swiftly the water can come. There's several who met their fate when the storm surge came. I can't really wrap my head around it.
posted by Harald74 at 11:20 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stalin quote: “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist."
posted by stbalbach at 11:37 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Surfurrus at 11:55 PM on November 5, 2012


Absolute tragedies... every single one of them. It was very tough to read through them all, but I forced myself.

As for the CO poisoning, why don't they make generators with easily attachable exhaust hoses? Then you could set the thing up in your garage and run the exhaust hose way out into the yard. Seems like it would solve the problem and not add a lot of cost.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 12:45 AM on November 6, 2012


This is so hard to read. Thanks for sharing.
posted by nonmerci at 12:48 AM on November 6, 2012


Too many died of being old and alone. Too many always die of being old and alone.
posted by pracowity at 1:30 AM on November 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Where are you, etaoin? We're still in exile having no power in Commack.
posted by dr_dank at 4:01 AM on November 6, 2012


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Heartbreaking.

I did something very, very foolish in Brooklyn during the height of the storm, and have a great memory as a result, and reading these is making me feel both very lucky and very guilty for having taken things so lightly.

In the long Hurricane Sandy thread, I did some whistling-in-the-dark, trying to forget that these storms can be so devastating --- even, maybe especially, after they're over.

Maybe 25 years ago, my infirm grandmother (who refused the mandatory evacuation order), my parents, and I weathered a hurricane in our house on the Maine coast. It was both terrifying and cozy: wrapped in blankets, staying warm by the fireplace, listening to the weather radio, trying not to listen to the whipping, wailing wind building to a mad pitch outside our enormous oh-so-shatterable windows.

After everything died down, I went out to survey the damage by walking along a stretch of the Marginal Way, a paved seaside path that ran along the margin of the high rocks framing our town. My parents had made several reckless decisions that night, but letting their teenaged daughter head out into hurricane damage might have been the most reckless, if only because it was completely unnecessary.

I had walked that path hundreds of times. I knew every dip and bend in it, so rushing along it in the dark with just the flashlight playing over the downed branches and wind-tossed shrubbery was novel, even exhilarating. My everyday path was suddenly an adventure! Then I turned a sharp bend and put out my foot, but never set it down. The path was simply gone --- only for a few feet, but the rubble of dirt and stone and broken blacktop made a steep ravine to the ocean's edge below.

If I had set that foot down hard instead of gently, I would have fallen and quite probably tumbled down the rock face. I might have died. I certainly would have hurt myself, probably badly enough to be stranded there in the night. As luck had it, I was just surprised and frightened enough to turn homeward and make my report.

I haven't thought about that in years (partly, I suppose, because that's the kind of thought that reminds me that my seemingly responsible, careful parents were weirdly careless and heedless in some ways) but it was the first time I really came to grips with the palpable fragility of the human body --- of my body as a vulnerable thing that will one day come to harm, as someone living on pure dumb luck.
posted by Elsa at 4:09 AM on November 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


A good friend has serious, lasting brain damage due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Her boyfriend died. I wish that it was mandatory for generators and space heaters to be sold with carbon monoxide detectors.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:31 AM on November 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


The worst for me was the two old people who died from hypothermia. Such a prolonged painful death, having to sit there and think through all of it that maybe soon the firemen would knock on your door and find you and just give you some warmth and you'd make it.

This is happening still, right at this very moment. If anyone in the greater NYC area is available and able to take a day off, there are hundreds if not thousands of people trapped in buildings, especially high rise senior centers and projects that also contain those with disabilities who have not had contact with the outside world yet. Cell service is down still in many of these areas, even if they have working, charged phones. I am stuck working in JC today so can't head out for relief again but as an example if anyone is able to head to Coney Island today this is a message I got from a friend from OCCUPY this morning:

Volunteers are needed URGENTLY in Coney Island today (Tuesday) & every day this week. Medical help only arrived in the area yesterday, & we REALLY need people to go door-to-door to make sure everyone gets the care they need. On Monday the group I was in checked a single building & found 4 people needing medical attention, including one for whom it was a life-or-death situation. Thankfully we were able to get her to a hospital, but we're afraid there may be many others out there who aren't receiving needed treatment. If you can, please, PLEASE come to 1201 Surf Ave., corner of W. 12th St., 3rd floor (enter on W. 12th St.) anytime between 10:30 a.m. & 5 p.m. this week, the sooner the better. You can take the F train almost all the way out there & walk the rest - it's really not very far. Volunteer coordinators will be dispatching teams to buildings & sending medical help where needed. PLEASE DROP EVERYTHING & COME TO CONEY ISLAND RIGHT NOW & FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO YOUR NETWORKS.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:12 AM on November 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's a new twitter account set up to deal with the most critical and/or urgent needs apart from the general @occupysandy account. Follow @sandyneeds if you'd like to work the front lines.
posted by stagewhisper at 12:28 PM on November 6, 2012


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This means so much to me. It's so easy to lose sight of how precious every life is. I am ashamed to admit that before I read this I was thinking of Sandy as a not even Category One hurricane that the media were making a big frickin' deal just because New York City was in it's trajectory. Now I am just so so sorry for all of these people and their families. I'm going to try to not be such a misanthrope for a while.
posted by Jess the Mess at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's so long.

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posted by undue influence at 2:13 AM on November 7, 2012


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posted by DigDoug at 5:56 AM on November 7, 2012


The person who wrote this is a User Experience director in NYC and is soliciting more info on those who passed away (from anywhere) if you have it:

****Whitney Hess Needs Help Honoring Those Who Have Passed Away****
Long-time NY Tech Meetup community member Whitney Hess has created an online memorial of those who passed away during Hurricane Sandy:
http://whitneyhess.com/blog/2012/11/05/the-people-who-were-killed-by-hurricane-sandy/
If you have additional information those who passed away, please share it with her.
Direct Contact: whitneyatwhitneyhess.com
posted by sweetkid at 3:04 PM on November 9, 2012


I was just about to post this to JErsey Shore Hurricane News, where I'm sure it would be directed to people willing to add their loved ones to it, but wasn't sure how it would be recieved. Something about that big dark headline, "people who were killed in Hurricane Sandy," just seems kind of raw for someone in immediate grief. I'd feel a little better about it if it said something like "Remembering those lost in Hurricane Sandy." YMMV.
posted by Miko at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2012


I've been seeing it posted everywhere, Miko, so I don't know if it's really such an issue. I got it in the New York Tech Meetup email.

This is the only comprehensive list I've seen, so maybe people would appreciate it and not worry as much about word choice.
posted by sweetkid at 4:23 PM on November 9, 2012


I dunno. Maybe. I didn't mind it as a reader but I might feel different if it were someone in my family.
posted by Miko at 7:58 PM on November 9, 2012


Mapping Hurricane Sandy's Deadly Toll
posted by Miko at 7:36 AM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by univac at 7:11 PM on November 21, 2012


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