As human beings when we experience a hurricane its just within the first few 100 feet or so near the surface. These giants however extend well into the atmosphere.
If you want to see great animations on hurricane Sandy, check out the link below. Some intense study has been performed showing how the system grew, was steered, and eventually impacted the New Jersey area.
These storms can grow many miles high into the atmosphere and effect huge areas.
The animations may take a moment to load, but well worth it for us weather lovers.