Update on Hurricane Sandy improvements: Rockaway

Update on Hurricane Sandy improvements: Rockaway from Estelle Gelin on Vimeo.

By Alex Kats, Estelle Gelin, Akif Rahman, Farhad Ahmed, Liya Zevelev

Update on Hurricane Sandy improvements: Rockaway

Hurricane Sandy destroyed everything in its path except for New Yorkers’ motivation for recovery.

In the year and a half since Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York City’s waterfront, a
massive recovery effort has been launched to clean, rebuild, and improve areas affected by the
storm. At an event in the Rockaways two weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to
reallocate $100 million in federal funds to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The plan will improve relief delivery, 17 months after the devastating storm struck New York.
According to a press release, rebuilding all destroyed homes is the main goal, with all applicants
receiving aid, regardless of income or program prioritization.

These post-storm improvements are most visible in the Rockaway Peninsula, which has
made significant progress in coming back from the storm. People are noticing a lot of great
progress already.

“Slowly, but surely, things are getting closer and closer to how they used to be”, said Cross Bay
Grocery cashier, Linda Stein.

“We don’t have everything rebuilt yet, but we’re in pretty good shape,” said Rockaway resident
Carl Mendez, while pointing to the outside of his house.

Many streets, houses, and boardwalks are being rebuilt and businesses around Rockaway are
prospering again. The many small neighborhoods that make up the Rockaways are visibly
recovering.

In Belle Harbor, flooded homes have been emptied, gutted, and rebuilt. In Breezy Point, lots of
destroyed bungalows have been dismantled and new houses built in their places.

Along Rockaway Beach, almost hundred blocks of sand dunes, baffle walls and storm
barriers have been built to protect residents from future storms.

“Our road to recovery has been smooth and this process definitely made us more prepared for
any future storms,” said resident Josh Gershman.

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