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Southern California Time Bomb: The Ground Surrounding The San Andreas Fault Is ‘Rising And Sinking’

Pacific Plate And The North American PlateIf you reside on the west coast, you are living on borrowed time.  As you will see below, stress has been building up along the San Andreas fault for more than a century, and scientists tell us that southern California is way overdue for a major earthquake.  When that stress is finally released, the U.S. Geological Survey says that we could be looking at hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.  If you follow my work regularly, then you already know that there has been unusual shaking all along the “Ring of Fire” so far in 2016.  But thankfully the west coast of the United States has been spared from a major disaster up to this point.  Unfortunately, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before one strikes, and that is why it is so alarming that the ground surrounding the San Andreas fault has been “rising and sinking”.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

For the first time, scientists have produced a computer image showing huge sections of California rising and sinking around the San Andreas fault.

The vertical movement is the result of seismic strain that will be ultimately released in a large earthquake.

The California coastline is where two enormous tectonic plates come together.  The Pacific plate and the North American plate are slowly but surely moving against one another, and this creates a tremendous amount of geological stress.  While areas on both sides of the San Andreas fault have been steadily rising and sinking as a result of this stress, there are sections of the fault itself that have remained “locked” for more than 100 years, and other sections that have remained locked for more than 300 years

The region of the San Andreas fault between Monterey County and Imperial County hasn’t moved in a significant way in more than 150 years, and other parts of the fault have been accumulating stress for more than 300 years.

This build up of stress is extremely dangerous, because the more stress that builds up the worse the ultimate release of that stress could turn out to be.

If you look at this map from the U.S. Geological Survey, you can see all of the earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater that have hit California within the past seven days.  As you can see, there has been a whole lot of shaking going on…

California Earthquakes June 2015 - U.S. Geological Survey

And let us not forget that earlier this month a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck near San Diego, and it was followed by more than 800 aftershocks.

Unfortunately, none of these quakes has relieved the stress along the San Andreas fault.  While the San Andreas fault may be the most famous of the faults in southern California, the truth is that there are many others.  And just last year the U.S. Geological Survey admitted that the probability of a “megaquake” along the west coast involving multiple faults at once was significantly greater than they had previously been projecting

A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the inevitability of just such a quake, which is predicted to hit within the next couple of decades.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” lead author of the study and USGS scientist, Ned Field says. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

But of course the San Andreas fault represents an absolutely massive threat to southern California all by itself.

Back in May, the Los Angeles Times quoted the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center as saying that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll”…

“The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go,” Jordan said in the opening keynote talk.

Other sections of the San Andreas fault also are far overdue for a big quake. Further southeast of the Cajon Pass, such as in San Bernardino County, the fault has not moved substantially since an earthquake in 1812, and further southeast toward the Salton Sea, it has been relatively quiet since about 1680 to 1690.

Here’s the problem: Scientists have observed that based on the movement of tectonic plates, with the Pacific plate moving northwest of the North American plate, earthquakes should be relieving about 16 feet of accumulated plate movement every 100 years. Yet the San Andreas has not relieved stress that has been building up for more than a century.

A number of years ago, a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey found that just a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and 200 billion dollars in damage.

So what would a magnitude 8 or worse quake do?

And even though the U.S. Geological Survey does not believe that parts of California will eventually fall into the ocean, it is very open about the fact that Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day “be adjacent to one another” as the Pacific plate and the North American plate slowly slip past each other…

Will California eventually fall into the ocean?

No. The San Andreas Fault System, which crosses California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, is the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate. The Pacific Plate is moving northwest with respect to the North American Plate at approximately 46 millimeters per year (the rate your fingernails grow). The strike-slip earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault are a result of this plate motion. The plates are moving horizontally past one another, so California is not going to fall into the ocean. However, Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day be adjacent to one another!

Meanwhile, while we are talking about southern California, I just had to mention the record-breaking heatwave and the horrific wildfires that are plaguing the region this week.  In fact, two massive wildfires that have been raging out of control threaten to combine “into one super fire”

Two new fires raging in California could soon merge, creating one ‘super fire’, as wild blazes continue to consume thousands of acres and have already force massive evacuations.

Throughout the United States, firefighters are battling blazes of varying degrees in nine states, including California, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

The most serious of these fires have been week-old blazes in California, New Mexico and Arizona, where scorching triple-digit temperatures have stoked the flames.

Normally we don’t see wildfires of this size and intensity until the late summer or early fall.

As I constantly remind my readers, last year was the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, and so far this year we are more than a million acres ahead of the pace that was set last year.

We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable.  Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, historic droughts and unusual flooding events all seem to be on the rise globally.

So is there a reason why all of this is happening, or are we just going through a time when we are experiencing an astounding string of truly bizarre coincidences?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Why Is This Happening? Unprecedented Flooding Has Hit The U.S. Within The Last 30 Days

South Carolina Flood 2015Over the past 30 days, major floods have hit the east coast, the west coast and now the middle part of the country.  So why is this happening?  Why is the U.S. being hit by so many catastrophic weather events all of a sudden?  During the past month flooding has caused billions of dollars in damage, and in many areas the clean up is going to take well into next year.  Some pundits are blaming El Nino, but others are pointing to other potential reasons for why this may be happening.  Let’s start by taking a look at some of the biggest flood events that have happened over the past 30 days…

Hurricane Joaquin never made landfall on the east coast, but moisture from the storm had a tremendous impact – particularly in South Carolina.  In fact, the governor of the state said that the region had not seen that type of rain “in a thousand years”

“We haven’t had this level of rain in the low-country in a thousand years — that’s how big this is,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Days of record rainfall and catastrophic flooding left at least seventeen people dead in South Carolina and two dead in North Carolina, Oct. 6, 2015. Thirteen dams have failed.

It would be very difficult to overstate the amount of damage that was caused by this storm.  Some officials are estimating that the total amount of economic damage done “will probably be in the billions of dollars”

The rains may have stopped in South Carolina, but the danger and the work to rebuild are far from over.

“I believe that things will get worse before they get better,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin told reporters Monday.

Eventually the floods will abate, but then we have to access the damage, and I anticipate that damage will probably be in the billions of dollars, and we’re going to have to work to rebuild. Some peoples’ lives as they know them will never be the same,” he said.

Of course this is far from the only destructive flooding event that we have seen in recent weeks.

Out in California they have been getting hit with disaster after disaster.  First, the wildfire season came very close to setting a national record this year, and it was particularly bad out west.  The following comes from USA Today

The amount of land burned by wildfires in the U.S. this year has surpassed 9 million acres, according to data released Thursday by the National Interagency Fire Center.

This is only the fourth time on record the country has reached the 9 million-acre mark, center spokesman Randall Eardley said in an e-mail. The area burned is roughly equivalent to the size of New Jersey and Connecticut combined.

All of the top years for acres burned have occurred since 2000, Eardley said. The worst year occurred in 2006, with 9.8 million acres. In 2007 and 2012, 9.3 million acres were burned, he said. If another 800,000 acres are burned this year, an all-time record would be set.

I have a feeling that when the final numbers are all in and tallied that 2015 will end up setting an all-time record for wildfires.

But after a really dry, hot summer, southern California got surprised by a deluge of heavy rain this month and the results were absolutely catastrophic.  The following comes from Fox News

A flood of mud and debris triggered by heavy rainfall in Southern California rushed onto streets and highways Thursday, stranding hundreds in their cars and closing a major interstate.

Nearly 40 miles of Interstate 5 north in Los Angeles were still closed Friday afternoon after heavy rainfall sent mud, debris and even boulders streaming into the north-south running freeway, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Some people, stuck in up to 5 feet of mud, were forced to camp overnight in their vehicles, according to NBC Los Angeles. Pictures on social media showed some cars submerged in debris up to the windshields.

Authorities are still digging people out from this mess several days later.  In fact, the dead body of one man was just pulled out of a van that had been encased in several feet of mud

Southern California fire crews discovered a man’s body Tuesday inside a van that had been buried under several feet of mud after a flash flood overran a road near Los Angeles last week.

And just over this past weekend, the middle part of the country has had to deal with tremendous flooding as well.  Hurricane Patricia turned out to be the world’s strongest hurricane since at least 1970, and the remnants of this storm are hitting the state of Texas quite hard.

The small town of Powell, Texas got 20 inches of rain in just 30 hours, and a Union Pacific train that was running nearby was derailed by the heavy flood waters

A Union Pacific freight train carrying cement derailed in Navarro County after a creek overflowed, washing out the tracks. Locomotives and rail cars were pushed on their sides, and a two-person crew was forced to swim to safety.

Repair teams cleared the derailed cars by Sunday morning, but they were not expected to be righted for several hours and a locomotive was not seen being moved until later in the day, Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff said on Sunday afternoon.

All of this has happened within the past 30 days.

So is there a reason why all of these events have happened?

Of course some people say that it is just a coincidence that all of these storms have hit us in such close proximity.

Others are pointing to the extremely strong El Nino that has developed.  Here is an excerpt from a recent Bloomberg report

It has choked Singapore with smoke, triggered Pacific typhoons and left Vietnamese coffee growers staring nervously at dwindling reservoirs. In Africa, cocoa farmers are blaming it for bad harvests, and in the Americas, it has Argentines bracing for lower milk production and Californians believing that rain will finally, mercifully fall.

El Nino is back and in a big way.

Its effects are just beginning in much of the world — for the most part, it hasn’t really reached North America — and yet it’s already shaping up potentially as one of the three strongest El Nino patterns since record-keeping began in 1950. It will dominate weather’s many twists and turns through the end of this year and well into next. And it’s causing gyrations in everything from the price of Colombian coffee to the fate of cold-water fish.

That certainly doesn’t sound promising for the months ahead.

But some climate “experts” are really playing down the impact of El Nino.  Instead, they are attempting to convince us that what we are witnessing is simply the result of “man-made climate change”, and they are using this as an opportunity to promote their agenda.

And there are yet others that see a spiritual dimension to all of this.  In fact, there are some out there that believe that all of this flooding could be a sign that the judgment of God on America has begun.

So what do you think?

Do you believe that there is a reason why the U.S. is experiencing so much flooding lately?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Why The Damage To The Economy Caused By The Oil Crash Is Going To Get Progressively Worse

Oil Price Crash - Public DomainWe are really starting to see the price of oil weigh very heavily on the economy and on the stock market.  On Tuesday, the Dow was down 291 points, and the primary reason for the decline was disappointing corporate sales numbers.  For example, heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is blaming the “dramatic decline in the price of oil” for much lower than anticipated sales during the fourth quarter of 2014.  Even though Caterpillar is not an “energy company”, the price of oil is critical to their success.  And the same could be said about thousands of other companies.  That is why I have repeatedly stated that anyone who believes that collapsing oil prices are good for the U.S. economy is crazy.  The key to how much damage this oil collapse is going to do to our economy is not how low prices ultimately go.  Rather, the key is how long they stay at these low levels.  If the price of oil went back to $80 a barrel next week, the damage would be fairly minimal.  But if the price of oil stays at this current level for the remainder of 2015, the damage will be absolutely catastrophic.  Just think of the price of oil like a hot iron.  If you touch it for just a fraction of a second, it won’t do too much damage.  But if you press it against your skin for an hour, you will be severely damaged for the rest of your life at the very least.

So the damage that we are witnessing right now is just the very beginning unless the price of oil goes back up substantially.

When the price of oil first started crashing, most analysts focused on the impact that it would have on energy companies.  And without a doubt, quite a few of them are likely to be wiped out if things don’t change soon.

But of even greater importance is the ripple effects that the price of oil will have throughout our entire economy.  The oil price crash is not that many months old at this point, and yet big companies are already blaming it for causing significant problems.  The following is how Caterpillar explained their disappointing sales numbers on Tuesday

The recent dramatic decline in the price of oil is the most significant reason for the year-over-year decline in our sales and revenues outlook.  Current oil prices are a significant headwind for Energy & Transportation and negative for our construction business in the oil producing regions of the world.  In addition, with lower prices for copper, coal and iron ore, we’ve reduced our expectations for sales of mining equipment.  We’ve also lowered our expectations for construction equipment sales in China.  While our market position in China has improved, 2015 expectations for the construction industry in China are lower”

We also learned on Tuesday that orders for durable goods were extremely disappointing.  Many analysts believe that this is another area where the oil price crash is having an impact

Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in December for a fourth month, signaling a global growth slowdown is weighing on American companies. Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 0.6 percent for a second month, data from the Commerce Department showed. Demand for all durable goods − items meant to last at least three years − declined 3.4 percent, the worst performance since August.

Let’s keep an eye on the durable goods numbers in coming months.  Usually, when the economy is heading into a recession durable goods numbers start declining.

Meanwhile, a bunch of other big companies reported disappointing sales numbers on Tuesday as well.  The following summary comes from the Crux

Microsoft lost 9.9 percent as software-license sales to businesses were below forecasts. Caterpillar plunged 7.3 percent after forecasting 2015 results that trailed estimates as plunging oil prices signal lower demand from energy companies. DuPont Co. dropped 2.8 percent as a stronger dollar cuts into the chemical maker’s profit. Procter & Gamble Co. and United Technologies Corp. declined at least 2 percent after saying the surging greenback will lower full-year earnings.

What the economy could really use right now is a huge rebound in the price of oil.

Unfortunately, as I wrote about the other day, that is not likely to happen any time soon.

In fact, a top executive for Goldman Sachs recently told CNBC that he believes that the price of oil could ultimately go as low as 30 dollars a barrel.

And hedge fund managers are backing up their belief that oil is heading even lower with big money

Hedge funds boosted bearish wagers on oil to a four-year high as US supplies grew the most since 2001.

Money managers increased short positions in West Texas Intermediate crude to the highest level since September 2010 in the week ended January 20, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-long positions slipped for the first time in three weeks.

US crude supplies rose by 10.1 million barrels to 397.9 million in the week ended January 16 and the country will pump the most oil since 1972 this year, the Energy Information Administration says. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the new ruler of the world’s biggest oil exporter, said he will maintain the production policy of his predecessor despite a 58 percent drop in prices since June.

Sadly, the truth is that anyone that thought that the stock market would go up forever and that the U.S. economy would be able to avoid a major downturn indefinitely was just being delusional.

Our economy goes through cycles, and every financial bubble eventually bursts.

For example, did you know that the S&P 500 has never had seven up years in a row?  The following comes from a CNBC article that was posted on Tuesday…

Doubleline Capital founder Jeff Gundlach, more known for his bond prowess than as an equity market expert, pointed out that the S&P 500 has never had seven consecutive up years.

Of course, records are made to be broken, and each year is supposed to stand on its own.

But in a market that faces an uncertain future regarding monetary policy, the specter of a global economic slowdown, and an oil price plunge that is dampening capital investment, Gundlach’s little factoid sparked a lot of chatter at ETF.com’s InsideETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida.

Hmm – that reminds me of the seven year cycles that I discussed in my article yesterday.

If the price of oil stays this low for the rest of 2015, there is no way that we are going to avoid a recession.

If the price of oil stays this low for the rest of 2015, there is no way that we are going to avoid a stock market crash.

So let’s hope that the price of oil starts going back up.

If it doesn’t, the damage that is inflicted on our economy is going to get progressively worse.

A Cyber War With North Korea And An Economic War With Russia

North KoreaIn addition to all of our wars in the Middle East and the war that has erupted on the streets of America, we are now engaged in a cyber war with North Korea and an economic war with Russia.  Without a doubt, the United States has the capability to do a tremendous amount of damage to both of them.  But what about the damage that they could potentially do to us?  We have a society that is absolutely teeming with soft targets.  Our Internet infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, our debt-based economic system is already teetering on the edge of disaster, and government officials freely admit that security at key facilities such as power plants is sorely lacking.  And these kinds of bitter conflicts have a way of escalating.  The North Koreans and the Russians are both very proud, and neither one is going to back down any time soon.  If a foreign power wanted to really make us hurt, it wouldn’t take much imagination at all.  There are thousands of ways to do it.  So Americans should not just smugly assume that we are untouchable.  In a war, it is often those that are overconfident that get hurt the worst.

Last week, Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the nightmarish hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and he promised that the U.S. would respond.

Well, it looks like that response began on Monday.  According to Bloomberg, North Korea’s connection to the Internet was totally cut off…

North Korea’s limited access to the Internet has been cut off, according to a network-monitoring company, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp. (6758)’s files.

North Korea, which has four official networks connecting the country to the Internet — all of which route through China — began experiencing intermittent problems yesterday and today went completely dark, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Needless to say, that got the attention of the North Koreans.

On their end, the North Koreans are still denying that they had anything to do with the attack on Sony.  And we may never know the actual truth.  In reality, Russia could have carried out such an attack.  Or it could have been the Chinese.  Or it could have even been a false flag cyberattack conducted by a three letter U.S. agency.  We just don’t know.

But what we do know is that North Korea is now vowing to take action against “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland“…

“The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans,” a report on state-run KCNA read.

“Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism,” the report said, adding that “fighters for justice” including the “Guardians of Peace” — a group that claimed responsibility for the Sony attack — “are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world.”

So can North Korea back up those bold words?

We shall see.

But without a doubt our Internet infrastructure is very vulnerable.  As I have written about previously, our big banks are under Internet attack every single minute of every single day.  And in recent months we have seen a whole host of retailers and major corporations get hacked.

This is an emerging threat that should not be underestimated.  As a society, we have become extremely dependent on the Internet, and these attacks are constantly becoming more powerful and more sophisticated.

I think that Steve Quayle put it very well during one recent interview…

“Cyberwarfare is increasing dramatically as we speak. There are serious concerns about the ability of the United States’ banking system to whether extremely sophisticated cyberattacks. The Sony breach is just one example of how a detrimental cyberattack can bring one of the world’s most prominent entertainment giants to its knees.”

And we do know that the North Koreans take hacking very seriously.

In fact, it has been reported that North Korea has a small army of hackers that are continually harassing the western world known as “Unit 121″…

Just like in a Bond movie, an army of teenage geniuses tap away at keyboards in fortified complex tucked away from prying eyes in a rogue state, bent on bringing cyber-carnage to their Western enemies on the orders of their leader who is bent on revenge.

But this isn’t the plot line from a film. This is North Korea in 2014. And the cyber-warriors inside have diverted from their usual work of disrupting governments and big business to turn their collective fury on Sony.

The building, the Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, is one of four North Korean universities known to train children, hand-picked for their intelligence from all around the country, and turn them into recruits for an elite group of hackers simply known as Unit 121 or Bureau 121.

Meanwhile, the struggle between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has escalated into a full-blown economic war.

At first, both sides started slapping each other with relatively minor economic sanctions.

But then things started escalating.  I think that things really began to get serious for the U.S. when Russia started to make moves against the petrodollar.  This is not something that has been reported on much at all by the mainstream media in the United States, but it is a very big deal.  If you want to become enemy #1 in the eyes of the U.S. government, just start attacking the petrodollar.  So when Russia began cutting the U.S. dollar out of oil and natural gas transactions, that definitely got the attention of some folks in Washington.  You can read much more about what Russia has been doing in this regard in this article, this article and this article.

Of course Washington was not just going to sit back and let this happen.  The Obama administration has retaliated by going after two of the most important pillars of the Russian economy – oil and the ruble.  And without a doubt, a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.

At this point, Russia is facing a full-blown currency crisis, major banks are starting to fail and economists are forecasting a deep recession for next year

The central bank bailed out its first victim of the collapsing currency, authorities announced a tax on grain exports to protect domestic stocks and a Reuters poll of 11 economists predicted that Russia’s gross domestic product would fall 3.6 percent next year.

Russia has been hit by what Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev recently called a “perfect storm” of plummeting oil prices, sanctions related to its military action in Ukraine, and a flight of investors’ capital — made worse by a lack of structural reforms that means the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenues.

But don’t count out the Russians just yet.

They are a very crafty people, and they are not afraid to fight dirty.

And it is important to keep in mind that the Russian Bear never forgives and it never forgets.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but right now anti-American sentiment in Russia is actually higher than it was at the end of the Cold War era.  Many Russians believe that this is a new Cold War, and that the United States is the greatest force for evil on the entire planet.

So while many Americans view this current conflict as a temporary foreign policy tussle about Ukraine, many Russians view this as a long-term struggle that is absolutely critical to the future of humanity.  If you doubt this, you should check out some of the things that their leading thinkers have been saying.

This conflict between the United States and Russia is not going to end any time soon.  And someday down the road, it could evolve into something more than just an economic war.  But before that happens, the Russians have a whole host of other ways that they can damage us.

Yes, the United States can hurt Russia.

But Russia can also hurt us.

In the end, this conflict is not going to be good for anyone.

18 Startling Quotes About The Incredible Destruction Caused By Hurricane Sandy

It is hard to put into words the absolute devastation that we are seeing along many areas of the east coast right now.  Boats have been washed ashore, homes have been razed, some coastal roads have been essentially destroyed, and large numbers of people are still trapped in their homes by flood waters.  It is being reported that more than 50 people are dead and more than 8 million people along the east coast have lost power.  Those without power might not get it back for a week or more.  In New York City, an all-time record storm surge of almost 14 feet caused incredible destruction.  It is going to take months for New York City to recover, and along the Jersey coast things are even worse.  Hurricane Sandy really did turn out to be “the worst case scenario” for much of the eastern seaboard.  At this point more than 15,000 flights have been cancelled, and nobody knows when subway service in New York City is going to be restored.  More than 4 million people a day use that subway system, and right now many of the most important tunnels are absolutely flooded with water. Sadly, this crisis is far from over.  The storm formerly known as Hurricane Sandy has moved inland over Pennsylvania where it continues to do a tremendous amount of damage.  The full extent of the destruction caused by this storm will probably not be known for weeks.

We have truly seen some unprecedented things during this storm.  For example, a 168 foot long tanker was driven ashore on Staten Island.  Right now the tanker is sitting on Front Street.

In the beachfront Queens neighborhood of Breezy Point, a massive fire broke out and burned just about everything that was not already flooded.  The blaze destroyed close to 100 homes, and by the end of the fire more than 190 firefighters were battling it.

Some areas in the West Virginia mountains have already had up to 3 feet of snow, and yet it just continues to fall.  When all of that snow starts to melt in a few days, tremendous flooding is anticipated.

The northeast has never seen a storm quite like this, and the ripple effects are going to be felt for years to come.

The following are 18 startling quotes about the incredible destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy…

#1 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

“The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.”

#2 MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.”

#3 Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer

“The Hudson River came in and filled half of Hoboken like a bathtub”

#4 Little Ferry resident Leo Quigley

“I looked out and the next thing you know, the water just came up through the grates. It came up so quickly you couldn’t do anything about it. If you wanted to move your car to higher ground you didn’t have enough time”

#5 New Jersey resident Montgomery Dahm

“I mean, there’s cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water.”

#6 Mobile home park resident Juan Allen

“I watched a tree crush a guy’s house like a wet sponge.”

#7 Angela Valenta, mother of 9-year-old Angelo Valenta

“He kept saying, ‘Am I going to die?'”

#8 U.S. Representative Bob Turner

“I, along with many other Breezy Point residents, lost our homes last night and I am grateful that my family and I are safe after this destructive storm. I hope you will join me in lending a hand to those who were less fortunate and keep everyone impacted by this storm in your thoughts and prayers.”

#9 Long Branch, New Jersey resident David Arnold

“The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

#10 New York resident William Yaeck

“I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent (to) my building”

#11 Motel owner Peter Sandomeno

“There are boats in the street five blocks from the ocean”

#12 West Virginia meteorologist Reed Timmer

“It’s 3 feet of heavy snow. It’s like concrete”

#13 Maryland State Police dispatcher Bill Wiltson

“It’s like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs up here”

#14 Con Edison spokeswoman Sara Banda

“This is the largest storm-related outage in history”

#15 John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Con Edison

“This will be one for the record books”

#16 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Clearly the challenges our city faces in the coming days are enormous”

#17 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

“You want to talk about a situation that gets old very quickly. You are sitting in a house with no power and you can’t open the refrigerator”

#18 National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina

“It was an extremely devastating and destructive storm, hopefully one that people will only see once in their lifetime”

So what will this storm ultimately cost the U.S. economy?  Well, Fox News is reporting that the total cost could reach 45 billion dollars.  Others estimate that the economic toll may be even higher than that.

But one thing is for certain – at a time when layoffs are already surging, this is definitely not going to help.  The U.S. economy is showing lots of signs of slowing down again, and this storm may have just nudged us even farther in that direction.

Hopefully we will have some time to recover before the next major crisis strikes, but with the election coming up early next week that does not seem too likely.

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