After barreling through Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti, the huge, slow-moving storm weakened to a post-tropical cyclone before making U.S. landfall in October 2012. But it was strong enough to wreak havoc on New York City and the Jersey Shore. Storm surges of more than 13 feet (4 meters) left parts of lower Manhattan under water and residents across the borough without power for days. Meanwhile, parts of Staten Island and beaches in Queens were nearly wiped off the map [sources: Nussbaum, CNN].
Sandy destroyed or damaged about 650,000 homes in the Northeast region and killed 117 people in the U.S. alone, as well as 69 others in Canada and the Caribbean. At $65 billion and climbing, Hurricane Sandy was the second-most costly hurricane in U.S. history [sources: Nussbaum, CNN]. The hurricane is also referred to as "Superstorm Sandy" because as it approached New York it had the characteristics of a winter storm rather than a tropical one [source: Conklin].