Cape May to Montauk Three Months After Sandy

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On the three-month anniversary of Sandy, WNYC took a week-long road trip from Cape May, NJ to Montauk, NY to visit coastal communities and see how their recovery is coming along.


Despite the snow and wind, people in Cape May, NJ are looking toward the summer. With little or no Sandy damage, they expect a busy season.


Will Tirri runs crab traps in the Stubborn One out of Cumberland County near Cape May, NJ. In the winter he works at welding at Fisherman's Wharf. He hasn't felt the effects of Sandy.


We won't know what effect Sandy had on the scallop fisheries until the season starts again in March.  The Cold Spring Fish Supply Co. is a major scallop supplier.  coastcheck


Cape May, NJ, known as Exit Zero because the Garden State Pkwy. ends here, escaped damage from Sandy and is expecting a busy summer. Many of the top hotels in town are already booked solid. coastcheck


Even in late January, when night falls fast, Cape May, NJ is a busy place. The seaside resort was not damaged by Sandy and is looking forward to a busy summer season.


John Cooke and his dog Joy greeted us at Victorian Motel where they are starting to fill up for July and August. Sandy left Cape May mostly undamaged. coastcheck



Joe Wright owns Scojo's restaurant in Surf City, Long Beach Island. He says if he has to raise up his restaurant, as new federal and state rules could require, he's putting a for sale sign out front.



John Pulaski, the manager of the Leonardo Motel in Monmouth County, NJ says he has mostly weekly bookings now for families made homeless by Sandy.



Frank Bain of Bain Hardware in Sea Bright, NJ says as a 10-year open-heart-surgery survivor, he has to be optimistic. "You want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans for tomorrow." coastcheck



"Bye Bye paradise, it was nice while it lasted" is scrawled on an abandoned mobile home at the Paradise Park trailer park in Highlands, NJ.


Chris Curtis uses a heater to thaw out some drywall compound as he works on a house on Locust St. in Highlands, NJ. His dad lives on the same block and worries how he will afford to lift his home.


Barry Heffernan and Al Homan of Tri Bar Demoliton take a look at a Sandy-devastated home in Highlands, NJ. Heffernan has been contracted to raise the house up.



On Cedar Grove Ave. in Staten Island, an uninhabitable home wears bright, patriotic colors three months after Sandy.


Tim Chen is the volunteer coordinator at the relief hub in Cedar Grove, Staten Island. He is there 24/7, sleeping in a tent at night. They start serving at 9AM. Sundays, there is a bonfire.


Kayla Mitchell, 23, has been volunteering in Cedar Grove Staten Island since about 2 weeks after Sandy. Now, three months out, she's still there serving hot meals to residents and workmen.




Andrew Lennon of Glen Oaks Electric “It’s been good for business, but the island’s not gonna be the same for years."



Home owner Martin Dobransky in Broad Channel  just got electricity this week, but not before his pipes froze from the extreme cold earlier this week, adding to his difficulties.


Tools in the mailbox in Broad Channel, Queens where residents are still struggling back 3 months after Sandy.



A sand-sifting operation is visible in the fog beneath the torn-down boardwalk at Edwards Blvd. in Long Beach, Long Island


Two Small Business Administration workers walk under the torn-down boardwalk into the fog on Long Beach in Long Island at Edwards Blvd.



Frank Bracco behind the counter at his fish market. He says the last three months feel more like a year as he struggles to repair damage after Sandy.



Asa Gosman's family owns Gosman's Dock in Montauk. He said they were lucky and the damage at Gosman's was nothing compared to what happened down the coast.


State employees Bob Mullens and Tom Rutkowski work to shore up the beach at Montauk Point State Park.


The lighthouse at Montauk Point used to have 300 ft. of beach in front of it. Now it has 100 ft. of beach.


The moon hangs over the beach just after sunrise on Montauk.


A sign reading "do not enter" marks a badly eroded public stair at the beach in Montauk.