Sandy, a Historical View

    The East End was “fortunate to be on the outer edge” of Hurricane Sandy, “which did so much damage to lives and property to our south and New York City,” Richard G. Hendrickson, the United States Cooperative weather observer in Bridgehampton, wrote in his monthly weather report for October.
    “Yes we had high tides, some beach erosion, electric off, and we all expected a much more severe storm here,” Mr. Hendrickson said, but according to his memory and his records, the storm here “was not like severe ones in the past.” He recalled that in the Hurricane of 1938, downed trees blocked dozens of roads, roofs were blown off houses, and crops were washed away.
    This time around, high water along the ocean, harbors, creeks, and bays did the most damage, he said, and “buildings on high ground were spared.”
    Mr. Hendrickson, who has long been concerned about the effects of global warming, wrote that “homes built on low waterfront land always have been the most damaged and will be more so in the future because of warmer temperatures and higher ocean levels caused by the 1 degree temperature increase every 70 to 100 years.”
    As for last month’s temperatures, the warmest days were Oct. 10, 12, and 13, when it got to 75 degrees. Mr. Hendrickson recorded the lowest nighttime temperature — 52 degrees — on Oct. 20.
    There was light rain on nine days, with the heaviest, one-third of an inch, coming on Oct. 26. The total for the month was 1.35 inches.
    October on the East End is usually known for its bright blue days, Mr. Hendrickson said, but that was not so this year. He recorded 7 clear, 2 partly cloudy, and 24 cloudy days.
    He recorded gale-force winds up to 60 miles per hour on Oct. 3, but during Sandy, the high winds here topped out at 50 to 55 miles per hour, he said.
    “Because of climate change,” Mr. Hendrickson wrote, “we will have more severe storms in the future.”
    November promises rough oceans and windier days, he said, adding, “We are due a killing frost, which is late this year, but it will be nice to be drinking cider and eating doughnuts by my fireplace in the evening enjoying it.”