Superstorm. Hurricane. Post-tropical cyclone. However you remember it, you'll likely never forget it.

This month marks 10 years since Sandy made landfall in Atlantic County and changed the shape of New Jersey forever, interrupting or completely destroying the lives of countless residents with a relatively quick hit the night of Oct. 29.

This is the first part of a five-day series honoring the 10-year anniversary of Sandy — its wrath, the rebuild since, and New Jersey's preparedness for future storms.

Part 1: What made Sandy so unique?
Part 2: NJ residents still fighting to get home

NJ Climate Change Resiliency NJ
This Nov. 29, 2012 file photo shows the ruins of an oceanfront road in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, a month after Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, FILE)

People were calling it the 'Frankenstorm'

"The way the storm approached the coast, the size of the storm, and the strength of the storm, all made it just this unusual beast," Dave Robinson, state climatologist at Rutgers University, told New Jersey 101.5. "It was basically in a league of its own, in terms of anything New Jersey has seen in recorded weather history."

Technically, Sandy was not at hurricane strength when it barreled west from the Atlantic Ocean. But New Jersey's coast was delivered hurricane-like storm surge due to that path.

"As Sandy skirted up the coast, people were calling it the 'Frankenstorm.' The big deal is it made that hard left turn and slammed right into the Jersey Shore, that beeline right towards the coast," said Dan Zarrow, chief meteorologist for New Jersey 101.5.

The most destructive natural disaster to ever hit New Jersey, Sandy carved holes and new waterways into the state.

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Queens, New Jersey, America - 08 Nov 2012
Sandy damage in Union Beach (Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock)

Sandy's toll on New Jersey

"You name it, it was damaged," said Union Beach Mayor Charles Cocuzza, who was a councilman for the borough during Sandy.

Rain was mostly an issue for the southern half of the state. Eight inches of rainfall were recorded at the Atlantic City marina.

Mid Atlantic Coast Prepares For Hurricane Sandy
A flooded street is seen at nightfall during rains from Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The lights went out for more than 2 million New Jersey households, as wind speeds of 60-70 mph flooded substations and snapped lines from their poles both along the shore and well inland.

Unmanageable flood waters hit not only towns along the beach and back bays. Riverfront cities were underwater.

Hoboken in the wake of Sandy in 2012 (Photo provided by Kenneth Ferrante)
Hoboken in the wake of Sandy in 2012 (Photo provided by Kenneth Ferrante)

"It took a good week for the waters to go down," said Hoboken Public Safety Director Kenneth Ferrante, who served as a commander in the city when Sandy hit in 2012.

According to a count from officials, 346,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Sandy throughout New Jersey. The death count was 37.

10 years later — Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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