A year after Sandy, rebuilding has been slow, halting and uneven across the region. Homeowners are still battling insurance companies, government aid is caught up in tight regulations, and new flood plain levels are not even final. There are a lot of plans on the drawing board, though, and some individuals and businesses are taking short-term steps to protect their property. WNYC is continuing to follow both the rebuilding process and the debate over just how to rebuild, here on this page.
Stress is often associated with Christmas along with its promise of holiday cheer. But for residents who suffered great losses from Sandy and its aftermath there are extra burdens. In some cases storm's victims are putting their lives on hold.
Instead of importing mobile homes, the government is putting up people in hotels and short-term apartment rentals. The Bloomberg administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have also set up a program that connects teams of contractors with homeowners needing power, heat and hot water. But demand for those services have overwhelmed the supply, and storm victims on Staten Island are getting impatient.
Despite ample evidence that big sand dunes protected some of New Jersey's coastal towns from Sandy's storm surge, the idea faces opposition from many local residents who don't want to give up their land or view.
After weeks of battling insurance companies, including the FEMA-administered National Flood Insurance, Stephen Drimalas' determination is fraying.
After nearly a decade of planning and debate, ground was finally broken last week on a set of office and apartment towers that will be built on a platform above an MTA rail yard. But the location is in a flood plain, and a Columbia University scientist warns that the development will put an upper limit on just how much the rail yard can be raised in order to keep it out of the way of rising sea levels.
The temporary shut-down of Bellevue’s psychiatric ward has led to concerns about possible crowding at the other facilities where patients have ended up—including Kings County Hospital Center, which had a troubled record of caring for the mentally ill even before Sandy struck.
For homeowners of flooded houses along the shores of New York and New Jersey, the post-Sandy to-do list is endless: sort, dry, trash, clean, make calls to the electrician, the boiler guy, an engineer, a mold specialist and, all along the way, document everything for insurance claims.
Federal disaster relief officials have ruled out deploying mobile homes to shelter city residents whose own homes have been damaged or destroyed by Sandy. Instead, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will rely on a combination of hotels, rental assistance and a new home repair program run by the city.
The New Jersey Senate and Assembly are taking a hard look at the performance of state utilities after Sandy. Jersey Central Power and Light has come under fire after many of its customers were without heat and power for two weeks after the storm. Even before Sandy, JCP&L, got poor marks for its handling of past prolonged outages. The utility's performance raises questions about out-of-state ownership of one of the state's largest suppliers of electricity.
Sandy is making planners, architects and scientists take another look at Mayor Bloomberg's effort to put high-rise apartments on New York City's waterfront. They say measures meant to make the new development withstand flooding may not be enough as sea levels continue to rise.
In New Jersey, it’s a nostalgia-infused recovery. In New York, it’s a campaign for a new age.
It's been almost a month since Sandy, a storm for the record books. WNYC checks in with some of the many people we met while reporting on the aftermath.
When Sandy made landfall, it destroyed buildings and boardwalks; more than that, it tore apart the lives of the people who call the Jersey shore home. The peninsula town of Sea Bright was plunged underwater on two fronts: the Atlantic Ocean from one side and the Shrewsbury River from the other.
It’s not just beach resort towns in New Jersey that felt the brunt of Sandy. Among the worst-hit areas was the working class community of Union Beach, New Jersey — located just across the Raritan Bay from Staten Island. The powerful storm surge flooded much of the town, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses, and reducing buildings on the waterfront to piles of rubble, including one local restaurant, whose owner is still struggling to pick up the pieces.
Hospitals, private residential buildings and businesses were all caught off guard by the extent of flooding caused by Sandy. Storing electrical and heating systems underground turned out to be dangerous and devastating. But perhaps nowhere were the effects of the damage more on display than in New York City public housing. In 402 buildings across the city, residents carried water from broken fire hydrants up several flights of stairs, lit their hallways with candles and took other drastic measures to get by.
New Jersey is now going about the painstaking task of assessing the damage done by Sandy and determining what can be replaced and what is lost forever. A spokesman for Governor Christie confirms that the Governor expects to have a preliminary dollar estimate Friday of the damage wrought by Sandy.
The Far Rockaway peninsula is a sandy spit that hooks out of southern Queens, and was one of the worst hit areas during Hurricane Sandy. Rockaway Beach Boulevard is the main artery where many live, shop and work. Ken Swan is a small property owner whose four, 2-story apartment buildings were devestated. FEMA doesn't cover the costs, because they're rentals, and its his primary source of income.
Hundreds of military veterans have flown in from across the country to volunteer their military expertise to those hardest hit by Sandy.
Staten Islander Stephen Drimalas is one of thousands of New Yorkers who are still without power. He's digging out from Sandy, showing up sporadically to his city job and, as of Wednesday, riding out a nor'easter.