pat, there's a recurrence interval for every section of coast for the u.s. new england, again, gets hit every 15-20 years on average. in the last quarter century hurricanes bob and gloria hit up there at cat 2--both had been stronger and were moving quickly, so their impact was significant. further back, hurricane donna hit the area still at a potent 2, hurricane carol put 10 feet of water in downtown providence in 1954, and you may have heard of a little hurricane in 1938 which ran over long island, flooded the whole coast even more, had measured wind speeds over 120mph and gusts over 180, and killed more than 600 people? there were others back in the 19th century not very unlike these listed (though the '38 hurricane might be the strongest of the lot). a hurricane of that magnitude running over new england has south-facing bays it can drive surges into, with huge populations in low-lying areas, construction designed to handle factors other than hurricane winds, and if it puts down much rain, an older, post-glacial surface that generates a ton of runoff and can cause massive flooding much more easily than the sandy coastal plains along southern coasts. did i mention that a big one coming near new york city could theoretically put a surge into the tunnels and subways in and around the city, shatter a ton of high-rise glass, and otherwise cripple the city? naw, i'd say those insurance guys are covering their butts. HF 1428z24march
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