Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inconvenient truth: Cold blamed for many of the deaths caused by a storm held up as proof of global warming

Cold Is Blamed in Storm Deaths -
Hurricanes always pack a destructive punch, with heavy winds knocking down trees and whipping up floodwaters. But superstorm Sandy carried an additional deadly threat: cold.

Authorities say hypothermia directly caused at least six of the storm's 135 U.S. deaths, and near-freezing temperatures and lack of electricity likely played a factor in at least 11 others, according to a Wall Street Journal review of fatalities.

The storm, which was relatively late in the hurricane season, marked the first time a hurricane advisory from the National Hurricane Center warned of snowy conditions, said Dennis Feltgren, a spokesman for the center.

"Sandy provided unique challenges because it transitioned over to a wintertime storm before it made landfall along the Jersey coast," Mr. Feltgren said. "When you experience a 20-degree drop here, bingo, you're down to the freezing point."

Indeed, when hurricanes Katrina, Andrew and Irene made landfall, temperatures hovered in the 70s and 80s. Residents faced a bevy of problems as they suffered without power—but freezing was not among them.

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