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.
"Hard" edges like hurricane barriers pose a host of problems even while they promise a lot of protection against severe storms. Landscape architects are looking at other possibilities to complement or replace them.
Maps detailing actual and expected flooding show that Sandy’s storm surge exceeded many of the 100-year flood zones, seeping into places previously considered safe. Are the flood maps wrong or was Sandy a truly exceptional storm?
This New Year's Eve, some victims of Sandy will be in Times Square, rubbing elbows with tourists and revelers out to watch the ball drop at midnight. But they're not all there by choice. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has moved thousands of people displaced by the storm into hotel rooms across the city, including one in the heart of the tourist hot spot known more for its neon and crowded streets.
Gigi Liaguno-Dorr, owner of the destroyed Jakeabob’s Bay restaurant, has been hard at work. Seven days a week, she’s been going back and forth between sorting relief supplies at the borough hall and trying to get her business back on its feet. She says that despite the progress that’s been made, things remain up in the air for many people.
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.