Sebastian Junger: Sandy Is Its Own Perfect Storm

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 30 2012 12:16 AM

Is Sandy a "Perfect Storm"? Sebastian Junger Weighs In.

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Sebastian Junger, right, author of The Perfect Storm, with Mark Wahlberg, center, and George Clooney on the film's set

Photograph by Claudette Barius/Warner Bros via Online USA.

CNN's Erin Burnett interviewed Sebastian Junger late Monday night, no doubt hoping that the author of The Perfect Storm would deliver a pull-quote that would put this whole thing in perspective, ideally one that mentioned his best-selling book that turned into a Hollywood hit. (I know I was personally hoping for something along the lines of: This is a more perfect perfect storm.)

Alas, he didn't quite deliver. Here's what he said:

"Well, the storms are similar in some ways. In the storm I wrote about—and in this storm, obviously—there was a major hurricane, there was a low-pressure system and there was a high-pressure system. And those things combined in really catastrophic ways. The meteorologists that I interview for my book sort of groped for a way to explain it to me and said, 'Look it was a perfect storm.' All the variables that make a storm bad, they were all maxed out. And in some ways that's happened again with this storm. Of course, the big difference is that today it's a hurricane that's coming ashore. In the storm I wrote about the hurricane stayed at sea and the nor'easter, low-pressure system, hit the coast with devastating affect."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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