There is no denying that Sandy caused horrific damage to the east coast. Although many people were surprised that such an event hit where it did, most meteorologists on the other hand were instead surprised that area was not hit again sooner. In this space and during many of my public talks I have mentioned that our weather patterns in recent years have transitioned to what occurred in the 1950s and 1960s.
The 1950s recorded several hurricane strikes along the east coast with many causing devastation on par with Sandy. With a much higher population base in combination with increased land use changes along the coast, although exceptionally heart breaking to see, the amount of damage was not unexpected.
Until humans realize that the boundary between land and ocean (or lake and rivers) is not static we are going to continue to experience such destruction in the future, as if we want to admit it or not, the forces of nature can not be controlled.