'NOVA: Megastorm Aftermath': What caused Superstorm Sandy?

nova-megastorm-aftermath-pbs-325.jpgHumans have always liked to to be near water, but in recent centuries, we've become even more enamored of living on the ocean.

From the beaches to the vistas to the beauty of seabirds, whales, killer sharks and the like, living on the edge of the big water is not only an economic necessity -- which it still is, for fishermen and shipping ports and resorts -- but also one of the ultimate luxuries.

We have always had port cities on the ocean, but now we are rapidly filling up every available inch of coastline -- along with a lot of square acreage that is more or less man-made -- with houses and people and businesses, all gazing out on the greatest engine of weather on planet Earth.

But what happens when the big water bites back?

Last week, PBS' "NOVA" reran "Inside the Megastorm," which looked at the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy as it left its cradle in the warm waters of the Caribbean and crawled across some of the most densely populated areas in the Eastern U.S. between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, 2012.

Storm surge hit New York on Oct. 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power across the city. Of course, many media outlets are based in New York and neighboring New Jersey, so it got very personal very fast for the press and television.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 (check local listings), "NOVA" follows up with "Megastorm Aftermath," looking at the causes behind Sandy and what can be done to protect coastal cities and oceanfront property from storm surges in the future.

Says correspondent Miles O'Brien , "Literally, we draw lines in the sand; we give deeds to people for land that Mother Nature intends to wash away. At a certain point, we can't keep pouring sand on those beaches and expecting them to stay there. They will wash away. You've got to think about that.

"This is a problem that is coming, it is here, and there are personal and collective things we need to start thinking about right now."
Photo/Video credit: PBS