National Geographic Channel, part of the DStv pay-TV bouquet, has announced the premiere of an in-depth documentary detailing Hurricane Sandy and its mammoth and merciless wake, which caused more than 110 fatalities in the US, and paralysed life for millions of people in more than a half-dozen states.
Superstorm New York: What Really Happened, a one-hour special, premieres Thursday 29 November at 23h00 on DStv channel 181 and will air globally this month in 171 countries. The documentary will take viewers inside the eye of the storm to understand how 145 kilometres per hour winds extended from its centre and driving rains and fatal storm surges left thousands displaced and millions without power — with the hardest hit in New Jersey and New York communities, who are still reeling in its aftermath. And for the first time, find out in depth how this storm — dubbed a “Frankenstorm’ by some media — developed and grew, taking almost 200 lives from the Caribbean to the East Coast, and dig further into the unpredictability of nature’s fury in the 21st century.
The documentary also weaves together user-generated stories from those who rode out the catastrophic storm, first responders, weather experts and storm chasers. For example, viewers will see home video of an explosion at the ConEd power plant in New York. “Looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, and everyone was screaming,’ John Mattiuzzie, a documentary filmmaker and resident of Brooklyn, explains.
And hear from one family who captured on their phone camera three trees falling outside their house. “I’ve never felt something like that before,’ said John Mateer, “home is the safest place you know and to feel threatened, it feels extremely frightening…. like I was in a horror movie.’
Also, hear in detail for the first time from New York Fire Department Social Media Manager Emily Rahimi, who chronicles how she answered Twitter messages because people could not get through to 911. “This storm was definitely a 21st century storm. This was the first one, I think, to use social media for help,’ she recalls in the documentary.
“Hurricane Sandy has proven to be a catastrophic storm of historic proportions – monstrous in scale, shocking in the extent of its devastation and capable of completely reshaping an entire urban landscape” says Hamish Mykura, Executive Vice President and Head of International Content for NGCI. “This film shows the tragic events of this superstorm unfold in remarkable pictures – cars floating in the streets of Manhattan, entire neighbourhoods engulfed by surging flood waters. Superstorm New York will explain the unusual forces of nature that drove the storm across a massive land area home to millions of people, wreaking havoc.’
Jeremy Dear, SVP programming for Pioneer Productions, said: “Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey, and affected thousands of communities and millions of people across the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States. We’ve made countless hours of weather programming before, but the nature of this storm really does make it exceptional. This film will break down the true cause and consequences of Sandy’s devastation using CGI, news footage, compelling home video and new first-person interviews.’
Pioneer Productions is the creator of NGC’s Witness: Disaster, as well as other extreme weather specials such as Raging Planet, Britain’s Worst Weather and The Year the Earth Went Wild.
Superstorm New York: What Really Happened is produced by Pioneer Productions for National Geographic Channel (NGC). For Pioneer, executive producers are Stuart Carter and Bob Strange; producer is Andrew Barron. For NGCI, Executive Vice President and Head of International Content is Hamish Mykura.
To see an exclusive look at storm footage included in the special, visit: http://files.natgeonetworks.com .