Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780525954408
  • 368 Pages
  • Dutton
  • Adult


The first complete moment-by-moment account of the largest Atlantic storm system ever recorded—a hurricane like no other

The sky was lit by a full moon on October 29, 2012, but nobody on the eastern seaboard of the United States could see it. Everything had been consumed by cloud. The storm’s immensity caught the attention of scientists on the International Space Station. Even from there, it seemed almost limitless: 1.8 million square feet of tightly coiled bands so huge they filled the windows of the Station. It was the largest storm anyone had ever seen.

Initially a tropical storm, Sandy had grown into a hybrid monster. It charged across open ocean, picking up strength with every step, baffling meteorologists and scientists, officials and emergency managers, even the traditional maritime wisdom of sailors and seamen: What exactly was this thing? By the time anyone decided, it was too late.

And then the storm made landfall.

Sandy was not just enormous, it was also unprecedented. As a result, the entire nation was left flat-footed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration couldn’t issue reliable warnings; the Coast Guard didn’t know what to do. In Superstorm, journalist Kathryn Miles takes readers inside the maelstrom, detailing the stories of dedicated professionals at the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service. The characters include a forecaster who risked his job to sound the alarm in New Jersey, the crew of the ill-fated tall ship Bounty, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Christie, and countless coastal residents whose homes—and lives—were torn apart and then left to wonder . . . When is the next superstorm coming?


Praise for Superstorm

Superstorm reads like the script of a blockbuster movie, transforming that Halloween storm into a nightmarish monster come to life. She provides horrifying vignettes of the storm’s many personal tragedies.” – Washington Post  

“Wise and harrowing.” – Associated Press

“Fascinating…Meticulous…Heartbreaking…Miles’s account–this year’s Five Days at Memorial–is an important record for future planners and a gripping read.” – Library Journal (starred review)

“Deeply reported and richly detailed narrative…A masterful job of telling the human tale of the storm.” – Miami Herald

“Explains how a storm so strong it filled the windows of the International Space Station managed to catch the nation flat-footed.” – New York Post

“[A] wide-angle, ticktock account of the massive Atlantic storm system that slammed the Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 29, 2012.” - Newsday

“Thrilling…Even for those of us who have heard countless hurricane stories, Superstorm, is a valuable addition. It goes beyond the scary radar screens and harrowing photos of the aftermath to the ongoing, massive problems of predicting and surviving such storms.” - Tampa Bay Times

“A gripping book on an enormous scale.” – Book Trib

“Deftly describes the intricacies of meteorology, government bureaucracy and maritime travel while weaving together several narrative strands into a compelling tapestry.” – The Roanoke Times

“A great story…Miles got the essence of the event right, in a way that few books about hurricanes do. Most often the wind and the water, the damage, and the heartbreak are the story. and this book has plenty of that, but there’s another layer here. The fabric of this story is the myriad of critical, heart-pounding, and life-altering decisions that people made — in and out of government — with less-than-perfect tools or information.”
– Bryan Norcross, Senior Hurricane Specialist, The Weather Channel

“Every great storm deserves its books, but only a storm as enormous and foreboding as Sandy deserves Kate Miles. From feckless mayors to anguished weathermen, from the desks of dedicated scientists to the captains of doomed sailing vessels, from unheard warnings to the emotion of shocked victims, from the Caribbean to New York Harbor, and finally to a looming preparedness disaster, Kate Miles creates the most harrowing and complete portrait of a weather event you” ever read. A thinking person’s thriller, a weather buff’s dream, a warning we ignore at our peril, SUPERSTORM delivers on all fronts.” – Bill Roorbach, author of Life Among Giants and The Remedy for Love

Superstorm exhumes a recent epic disaster from our denial-shortened memories and slams it back where it belongs, in all its amazing fury: a screaming alert, dead ahead, to brace for what may be next if we keep messing with nature. This is first-rate, exhaustive reporting, and a ripping read.” — Alan Weisman, NYT bestselling author of The World Without Us

“Riveting. Miles follows Sandy as it grows from a benign tropical wave over the Sahara into the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Reading like a cross between A Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Superstorm is a wild story masterfully told.” –Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated

“The Big One is coming. This book will sweep into town, pick you up, and carry you away. Like a great and gripping novel, Superstorm takes us moment-by-moment through the days building up to and climaxing in the largest storm the world has ever seen, while making us care deeply for those in the storm’s path. It’s a thrilling book. Pick it up, read it, and be transported.” –David Gessner, author of The Tarball Chronicles and Return of the Osprey

“A splendid account.” – Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded
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