Photo released by the official Twitter feed of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey shows flood waters from Hurricane Sandy rushing in to the Hoboken PATH station through an elevator shaft on October 29 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Sandy is a massive storm, poised to bring widespread flooding and
billions of dollars in damage to states from North Carolina to Maine.
And it's no slouch when it comes to social media.
the past day, #Sandy has had more than 4 million mentions by almost
400,000 unique sources on Twitter, says Radian6, which tracks social
media use. Mentions of #Sandy have had a potential reach of more than 3
billion Twitter followers, the site says.
FOLLOW FIRST COAST NEWS ON TWITTER
"Hurricane Sandy" was
the top phrase on Facebook in the USA in the past day, the social media
giant says. Other terms in the top 10 include "stay safe," "storm,"
"East Coast," "my friends" and "prayers."
On the mobile photo
sharing site Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, there were 2,333,000
photos with the hashtag "Sandy," 100,000 under "Hurricanesandy" and
20,000 under "Frankenstorm" as of Monday afternoon, according to the
"There are now 10 pictures per second being
posted with the hashtag 'Sandy,' " said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom in
an e-mailed statement. "I think this demonstrates how Instagram is
quickly becoming a useful tool to see the world as it happens --
especially for important world events like this."
The storm's path
-- and the destruction it wrought -- could be followed all day Monday
in photos of flooding on the streets of coastal communities in Maryland,
Delaware and New Jersey. People in New Jersey, braced for a direct hit
from the storm, photographed themselves in rubber rain gear in
thigh-high floodwaters. Photos showed water partially submerged cars,
fire hydrants and parking meters.
LIKE FIRST COAST NEWS ON FACEBOOK
News spread quickly on the
social sites, from the rescue by the Coast Guard of the crewmembers who
abandoned the sinking replica ship the HMS Bounty to the collapse of
chunks of a building's facade in downtown Manhattan.
Facebook became a key method for friends and family to check in on each
other and wish those on the East Coast to be safe.
"Sending my thoughts to all in the path of #sandy ... looks pretty bad," read a typical tweet.
Some people posted updates on whether they had power or on the strength of the wind and rain where they were.
flooded streets in Atlantic City, two hours after landfall. No wind and
only a light rain falling. #sandynj," wrote one poster, @aubreyjwhalen.
beginnings of controversy surfaced as people took sides when New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie blamed Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for not
pushing residents harder to evacuate.
Those in the path of the
storm could find practical tips, too. FEMA urged its 163,400 Twitter
followers to use texts or social media to keep tabs on their friends and
relatives because phone lines get clogged during disasters. It used its
Twitter feed to tell people to use social media for the latest news on
the storm's path and to offer tips such as never drive across water
flooding a road.
Not surprisingly, there was a fair share of jokes
and parodies. One site hawked blue rubber stiletto heels with flippers
And as photos were shared by the thousands, several
fakes made the rounds. One showed the Statue of Liberty with a menacing
spiral cloud looming in the distance. Another had a shark swimming in
floodwaters. Another purported to show soldiers guarding the Tomb of the
Unknowns in a driving rain on Monday. The photo, however, was taken in