It has been more than three years since Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey and New York shoreline, and lingering pockets of damage still remain. With the weather warming, people in the hard-hit areas are back at work trying to make progress on the list of undone projects.
In New Jersey, dredging and earth-moving contractors have resumed their effort to restore and replenish the beach on New Jersey's Long Beach Island, reported the Star-Ledger (see: "Stalled LBI beach replenishment work finally under way," by MaryAnn Spoto). "Beach replenishment on Long Beach Island has resumed, five months after the contractor pulled out of the work to handle jobs in other parts of the country," the paper reported. "The return of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. pleased state environmental protection officials who were incensed that the company's juggling of several projects put the Ocean County barrier island at risk of damage over the winter when storms tend to be more prevalent and ferocious."
"The $138 million project began last May, when work started in Ship Bottom, Brant Beach and other parts of Long Beach Township," the paper explained. "Great Lakes pulled its equipment out in December and work initially was thought to begin in January but was stalled yet again for scheduling reasons. The DEP said that because of the way the contract was written with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it had no recourse but to wait."
In the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, volunteers were helping to restore homes flooded by Sandy's storm surge three and a half years ago, reported the Daily News (see: "Canarsie, Brooklyn, rebuilds Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes with help from more than 100 volunteers," by Chris Sommerfeldt and Denis Slattery). "Parts of Canarsie were ravaged by flood waters that streets, destroyed belongings and left basements a mess," the paper noted. "On Saturday, more than a hundred volunteers with Rebuilding Together NYC came to the neighborhood to help residents with Sandy-related repairs."
“People don’t think about how badly it got hit,” Rebuilding Together NYC Executive Director Kimberly George told the Daily News. “Canarsie thinks of itself as the forgotten neighborhood as a consequence.”
"Rebuilding Together was the 'last hope' for some residents who have been 'trying to get back to normal' after Sandy, reported the Daily News. "Volunteers helped to repair 10 homes, two community centers, and installed 75 solar powered lights to increase safety in the neighborhood."
Spring is also the season for love, of course. And if Sandy left behind lasting damage, the response to Sandy has created something new: lasting relationships. DNAinfo reports on the wedding of a young couple who met as volunteers in the immediate aftermath of the storm (see: "Lovebirds Who Met as Hurricane Sandy Volunteers to Wed in Rockaway Church," by Katie Honan. "Three and a half years after the storm, Matt Kehoe and Danielle Redmond are set to wed Saturday at that same church where they first met — at 129-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd. — in what relief organizer Meghan Courtney Flanagan called 'love at first disaster site.'"
As it turned out, Kehoe also found a way to make his living in part from Sandy rebuilding. Since the storm, Kehoe (an engineer) has started his own engineering firm with colleague Adon Austin, specializing in shorefront work including underwater inspections and shoreline hardening. A page on the website of the firm, Rising Tide, illustrates one of the firm's signature methods for reconstructing eroded shoreline: a "Navy style" bulkhead constructed with driven piles, horizontal wales, steel sheet piling, gravel backfill, and a top dressing of topsoil.