North American Cities and Super Storms

Chapter 2 of Cities of the World describes in detail the North American cities of New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland, Montreal, Ottawa, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. Please note that the textbook does not include Mexico in its definition of North America (see the map at the beginning of Chapter 2).

In Chapter 2, the author states, “Disasters remind us of just how vulnerable cities are to environmental forces… In 2005, the city of New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina… At first glance, Hurricane Katrina seemed like a natural disaster since a hurricane is a force of nature. But Katrina’s impact and effects were intensified by socioeconomic conditions. The flooding of the city was caused by poorly designed levees that could not withstand a predicted storm surge.” North American cities, especially those along the eastern and southern coasts, are ripe for this ecological-human disaster.

And in October 2012, Superstorm Sandy emphasized this concern!

Then go to YouTube and view “National Geographic Superstorm New York What Really Happened” (44:58 minutes) at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogj4rCoXDLk

  1. Using the given sources, write a 6-paragraph paper (3 pages maximum; points will be deducted for not following instructions) answering the following questions.
  • Make a list of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. (5 points)
  • How did Superstorm Sandy become so strong? (4 points)
  • What is “storm surge”? Why was Superstorm Sandy’s storm surge so large (approximately 14 feet)? (4 points) You will have to do additional research to answer this question.
  • Why was there so much damage to Lower Manhattan of New York City? Is this true for other cities along the American eastern and southern coast? (3 points)
  • What can be done to prevent future devastation by large storms along the American eastern and southern coast? In your opinion, will these ideas really work? (3 points)
  • Do some independent research to answer: “What is being predicted for the 2017 United States hurricane season?” (3 points)

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