Special Coverage: Superstorm Sandy One Year Later
Then, Now, and Looking Ahead
NEW YORK—Superstorm Sandy unleashed its winds one year ago, but turbulence lingers today. Sandy has forever changed the thinking about—and planning for—superstorms of the future.
One year after the salt water rushed into city-dwellers’ basements, bedrooms, and workspaces, the businesses are up and running and most people are back in their homes.
Remembering what we went through—the suffering and the lows, as well as the tremendous outpouring of generosity—speeds the healing process. Knowing about preparations for the next superstorm helps us move into the future.
We saw humanity’s resilience, over and over again, as we collected people’s stories for this commemorative edition.
The financial and emotional impacts of the storm remain. The faces of people in the areas most impacted by Sandy were strained with memories of the evening of Oct. 29, 2012 as we talked to them.
New York City did not take a direct hit from the eye of the massive storm, but it was in the direct path of an onshore wind field that extended for 1,000 miles, causing a record storm surge and unprecedented destruction along the shorelines.
A surge tide of 14 feet at Battery Park shattered the previous record of 10 feet set in 1960 during Hurricane Donna. When Sandy was through, 51 square miles of New York City was flooded—that’s 17 percent of the total landmass, and nearly 20 square miles more than existing flood maps had identified.
Returning to the neighborhoods hit by the storm, our reporters were deeply stirred. One struggled to maintain composure, saying her own Sandy story has not been told. She asked herself, “Is it New York City’s story I am writing, or is it my own?”
Although each person’s story is unique, the accounts in these pages have a striking commonality: disbelief at first, followed by fear when the water came, then resolve to survive, and then determination to pick up the pieces.
Check for updates to our ongoing Special Coverage of Superstorm Sandy One Year Later.
Why Some New Yorkers Won’t See Green Trees This Spring
It’s mid-April and the trees should have sprouted green buds by now, but in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, spring looks apocalyptic. Three years ago, Superstorm Sandy... Read more
New York, New Jersey Look Back 2 Years After Sandy
BELMAR, N.J.—The second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy arrived Wednesday in a region where recovery in New Jersey and New York is happening unevenly, with many... Read more
Sandy’s Mental Health Impact Looms Large
LONG BEACH, N.Y.—Kathy and Mark Michaels huddled in the attic of their Long Beach home as Superstorm Sandy turned streets into canals, ripped apart the... Read more
Hospitals Struggled During and After Superstorm Sandy
Hospitals were ill-prepared for the impact of Superstorm Sandy, according to a government study released Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)... Read more
NYC Officials Get ‘Hands On’ With Sandy Recovery
NEW YORK—The sound of hammers are finally ringing in Superstorm Sandy-impacted communities, but they are still few and far between. A key ingredient in the... Read more
Final $102M in Storm Protection Funds Awarded to 11 States
New York and New Jersey are among the largest recipients of $102.7 million in grants from the federal government for storm protection. A total of... Read more
Mayor Signs Sandy Tax Relief Bill
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill Wednesday extending tax relief to homeowners facing higher taxes as a result of repairing their homes from damage... Read more
City Pays $5 Million in Salaries for Build It Back
NEW YORK—The city is paying $5 million in salaries to employees of the Build It Back program, which has helped less than 1 percent of... Read more
Documents Reveal ‘Build It Back’ Architects Were Paid $6 Million
NEW YORK—New York City’s beleaguered Superstorm Sandy housing recovery program, Build It Back, cost taxpayers a whopping $6 million just to create, new documents obtained... Read more
Coalition Urges Mayor de Blasio to Prioritize a More Sustainable NYC
NEW YORK—On Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 100th day in office, environmental advocates and city council members took the opportunity to push for sustainability and climate... Read more
Long After Sandy, Red Cross Post-Storm Spending Still a Black Box
Following Superstorm Sandy, donors gave $312 million to the American Red Cross. How did the aid organization spend that money? A year and a half... Read more
New Sandy Money Fails to Reach Small Businesses
NEW YORK—Only a handful out of hundreds of small businesses hit by Superstorm Sandy received money from the second wave of recovery loans and grants,... Read more
NYC Mayor Names New Sandy Recovery Leadership Team
NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio named the top three of his administration’s Superstorm Sandy recovery leaders on Saturday. Bill Goldstein, Amy Peterson,... Read more
Advocates Hold de Blasio to Account Over Sandy Recovery
NEW YORK—Superstorm Sandy recovery advocates are beginning to lose patience with Mayor Bill de Blasio. Though the still new mayor has promised repeatedly to put... Read more
Habitat for Humanity Builds Home for Sandy Victim in Times Square
Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds housing, gathered over 70 volunteers to construct a home in the middle of Times Square. The “Hammers... Read more
Amid de Blasio Inattention, Sandy Build It Back Construction Set to Start
NEW YORK—Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lack of attention to the city’s Sandy housing recovery, a very positive sign of progress is on the horizon. ... Read more
De Blasio to Scrutinize Sandy Recovery Plans
NEW YORK—Facing an avalanche of questions Monday about the city’s failing Sandy housing recovery plan, Build It Back, the mayor said he plans a complete... Read more
Council Committee to Review ‘Build It Back’ Problems
NEW YORK—City Council will look into problems with the Build It Back program during a committee meeting next month, Mark Treyger the chair of the... Read more
Sandy Housing Recovery Program Makes Promises It Finds Hard to Deliver
UPDATE: City Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of a newly formed committee on recovery and resiliency, confirmed on Monday there will be a hearing on... Read more
Hotel Industry in New York City Boosted by Superstorm Sandy in 2013
Hotels in New York City had a good year in 2013, ironically in part due to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The year following Sandy... Read more