The destruction caused by Sandy is estimated to be in the range of $50 billion. Thousands have been left without a place to live, utilities, and other basic necessities. Yesterday, The New York Times revealed what is probably the most damaging aftereffect of the super storm yet: tight jeans. Terming the tragic condition the "Sandy Five", the Times went out into New York in search of people who had put on weight because of overeating during the storm and its aftermath.

The horrors discovered are akin to those described in the pages of a Cormac McCarthy novel. "I can't even talk about it - my jeans do not button," said Emily Marnell. Experts say that this is a very common side effect of Post Traumatic Stretch Disorder (PTSD), and that it is not uncommon for people who gain five pounds after a storm to try and repress the memory.

Another New Yorker, Andrea Lavinthal, courageously recounted her traumatic experience:

"Waiting for the storm seemed to make everyone want to do three things: watch ‘Homeland,' eat and tweet. Once the power went out downtown, the only thing left to do was eat - and eat.

Indeed, it appears that in the aftermath of Sandy she cooked herself "five-egg omelet breakfasts or roast-chicken-with-every-vegetable-in-the-crisper dinners." Nevertheless, proving that Americans are most resourceful during times of crisis, she put on her jeggings. "I've never been so grateful for my jeggings," she added.

The Times describes a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where anything and everything is permitted. People "ate and drank what they wanted, tomorrow be damned." Hotdogs were eaten raw. Prehistoric Twinkies unearthed by the fracturing of the Earth were scarfed down. Nothing edible was safe. People that had gone out and purchased perishable items in preparation for the storm were forced to cook Thanksgiving-like dinners, when the power unexpectedly went out. And the whole time, people's waist sizes expanded.

It is probably safe to say that once things slowly get back to normal, people will be able to stop eating and growing at such an alarming rate. We can expect special gym deals offering a safe therapeutic place to deal with the trauma of newly developed love handles. We can only hope that things return to normal soon.

[NYT, image via Shutterstock]