On October 29 of 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, flooding city streets, tunnels, and subway lines, leading to massive destruction. At least 159 people in the United States were killed as a result and 650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Hurricane Sandy left the City of New York in utter turmoil. Lives were lost, countless homes were uprooted, families were left homeless, and entire communities were destroyed.
In route to recovery, New York City’s rebuilding process has been eminent. Several programs and initiatives have launched since the destruction to help join the rebuilding efforts. As of July 2013, FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) aided over 270,000 individuals or households and 3,900 businesses to gain stability again. The two organizations raised $3.8 billion in SBA recovery loans and FEMA assistance. With the help of government funds and hands-on labor, NYC has implemented a rebuilding processes for all the areas in need.
Long Island’s effort to reclaim Nassau County’s south shore was awarded $125 million to build a protective infrastructure that stores, cleans and replenishes storm water. The fund will also help construct marshes to reduce wave action and provide recreational opportunities that may have been destroyed in the Hurricane Sandy rampage. Green infrastructure will also be added to store and filter water and provide public space.
A community push for recovery took place in the Rockaways where Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc. Today, Far Rockaway is protected by a new system of walls and dunes built to protect the coastal neighborhoods.
Breezy Point, a gated community in the Rockaways, lost more than 300 homes through to Hurricane Sandy. But since then, the once-destroyed land was transformed into a new community through the hard work of Rockaway residents and other supporters.
Even as recently as one year ago, Breezy Point was still laced with open lots of sand. Now there are dozens of new homes that exist along this coastal community of the Queens borough. Breezy Point residents spent $130,000 of their own funds to create a protective dune. The government is supporting the community in their rebuilding efforts, and recently announced a multi-million dollar “Comprehensive Coastal Protection System” for Breezy Point, “to safeguard the community from future instances of extreme weather.”
New York City
In the two years since Hurricane Sandy, New York City has received over $60 million from the Mayor’s Fund for relief contributions that will aid some of the most affected communities.
The City’s emergency relief and recovery operations has allowed the Mayor’s Fund to address specific needs in real-time with the help of their active, working teams in high-impact areas. The Mayor’s Fund is just one of the funded initiatives that will aid the recovery of NYC since the hurricane. Collectively, needing communities are working to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and landscape better than it was before.