Movie Rewind: Hurricane Sandy recalls “The Perfect Storm”

 Hurricane Sandy maybe didnt create a feauture film like the Perfect Storm but it did create much more devastation than the Perfect Storm ever did.

Hurricane Sandy maybe didn’t create a feauture film like the Perfect Storm but it did create much more devastation than the Perfect Storm ever did.

Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter

In the midst of the talking about and preparation for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, news stations and many on the East Coast were reminded of another, very similar, late October storm that came their way back in 1991. The devastating hurricane of twenty one years ago, now known as the “Perfect Storm”, took the lives of six fishermen, along with many others, off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts when three different storm systems collided. The catastrophe that the Perfect Storm unraveled was none other than a plot for a best-selling novel and film, named of course, “The Perfect Storm.”

Now twenty one years later, with Hurricane Sandy defined as a another superstorm, the disaster is refreshed in the memories of not only the locals who experienced the storm themselves, but also the ones who lived it second hand in the film. Are the two storms though as similar as everyone thinks?

Based off the best-selling book by Sebastian Junger, “The Perfect Storm” takes place in late October when a dying tropical hurricane combined with a cold spell from the Great Lakes creates a perfect storm, which unknowingly creates a massive hurricane. Tragically, in the pandemonium of one of the biggest storms of the century, a fishing boat and its crew are thrashed into the storm, creating the basis for the film. The film focuses on captain of the Andrea Gail, Billy Tyne (George Clooney), and courageous crew members Bob Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), Dale Murphy (John C. Reilly), and David Sullivan (William Fichter).  Before the storm, Tyne’s crew is down on its luck, and as it sets sail, the crew members are certain that there are fish where they are headed.  Billy’s hunch is right, but when the boat’s refrigeration system on board goes absolutely haywire, they have to find a way to get to shore as quickly as possible before the fish go rotten. In doing so though the crew finds themselves in one of the most devastating storms in history.

The movie is based off of true events and extremely well done, depicting a very tragic moment in history.  However, while people in the news have been noting how similar the two storms were, in reality, they aren’t as similar as one might think.  Though Sandy’s impact has still to be fully counted, it’s obvious that it will be far more devastating than Junger’s Perfect Storm.  Both storms happened within a week of one another, exactly 21 years apart.  Both hit the East Coast and created destruction all along the coastline, leaving many without power or a place to live.  However, while the Perfect Storm killed only thirteen people, Sandy’s death toll is still undetermined and rising.  While the Perfect Storm left 38,000 without power, Sandy has blacked out millions.  The Perfect Storm hit Massachusetts and New Jersey only, while Sandy ravaged New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and more.  Despite their similarities, Sandy is clearly a more significant environmental disaster.

When the news stories compare the two storms, they aren’t lying, but they leave out the difference in scale.  The numbers show it and the utter devastation that Sandy has created reveals that it has surpassed the Perfect Storm.

It was, and is, much, much worse.