Sandy’s high winds and heavy wain battered the Tonawandas overnight Monday, but it was clear when the sun rose Tuesday the area was spared the worst of it.
“The National Weather Service says that gusts over 58 mph are damaging,” Local weather guru Jack Kanack, of North Tonawanda, said. “We were just below that criteria.”
Kanack’s high-technology backyard weather station on North Meadow Avenue is able to measure the wind and the rain, providing the area with local, accurate storm numbers. He detailed the area’s peak wind, the average of the windiest two-minutes of the day, as well as the peak gust of any one moment.
He said in North Tonawanda, Monday’s peak sustained wind came in at 21.7 mph at 11:39 p.m and the peak gust at 44.5 mph at 7:51 p.m.
Tuesday, the peak wind occurred at 6:07 a.m. at 38.3 mph, and the peak gust at about 5:52 a.m. at 47 mph.
“I knew we would be right on the edge of whether it would be damaging or not,” Kanack said. “But another 5 or 10 mph would have done it.”
Despite the threatening forecast, Kanack said he didn’t think the storm would live up to all the Buffalo hype.
“I just didn’t see quite the dynamics to see a type of large-scale wind event,” he said. “It coming from the coastline and a lot of it bumping against the mountains, I felt we weren’t going to get that kind of wind.”
The Tonawanda streets also saw limited flooding Tuesday night. The weather service said the front’s rain began Friday, and, in total, North Tonawanda saw between 2.15 and 2.93 inches of rain in the four-day span.
The town had between 1.53 and 2.72 inches.
But other areas weren’t as lucky. According to Kanack, Battery Park in Lower Manhattan experienced 13.8 feet of storm surge, breaking a 200-year record by three feet.