It has been two years since Hurricane Sandy, re-dubbed a "Superstorm" as it left tropical waters, hammered the New York metropolitan area in 2012. On the storm's anniversary, news publications are taking a look at the region's recovery process — and finding a mixed bag.
The New York Daily News finds Staten Island residents still suffering from the effects of the storm (see: "Grief caused by Hurricane Sandy continues to hang over hard-hit Staten Island," by Reuven Blau). "Staten Island suffered the most fatalities from the storm compared to the rest of the city," the paper notes. "While some are still grieving the loss of their loved ones, others have yet to rebuild their homes due to finances and delayed responses from the Build it Back program."
Conditions are similar in other boroughs, the Daily News reports (see: "Queens residents still struggle to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy two years ago," by Lisa L. Colangelo). "Changing rules, botched paperwork and the lack of construction crews have plagued Sandy victims in Rockaway, Broad Channel and Howard Beach — the neighborhoods hit hardest by the storm," the paper says. "The most depressing thing since the storm is dealing with government," 65 year-old Peter Adamizyn told the paper.
Many New Yorkers have given up on waiting for government help, and are doing the best they can on their own resources. "Like most New Yorkers recovering from the storm, Breezy Point's residents have had to contend with delays in government assistance. Rather than wait, many homeowners, one-quarter of whom are seasonal, cobbled together their personal savings and private insurance payouts to rebuild grander, more storm-resistant homes," reports Crain's New York Business (see: "Breezy Point goes its own way on recovery," by Cara S. Trager).
But the path of self-reliance is no cake-walk, Crain's observes: "Sandy wiped out 12% of Breezy Point's 2,837 single-family homes--218 by storm surge, 130 by fire from downed electric cables. Two years later, however, only about 20 families have been able to move into new homes, and work on 100 sites is underway. Nearly the same number are vacant, sand-filled lots. A handful of owners decided not to rebuild."
A Salt Lake City reporter covering the storm's anniversary for the Deseret News looks at the positive side: the efforts of volunteers who came to New York to help out, and some of whom have stayed (see: "2 years after Sandy, volunteers kick in where government lags," by Lane Anderson).
The paper zeroes in on volunteer Terry Scott, a contractor from Seattle, Washington, who came to New York to help out last summer and now works full-time for non-profit organization Rebuilding Together. ""The government is a bureaucratic behemoth," Scott told the paper. "That's an advantage that we have. Once we get the home, there are no layers. I'm the layer. We get in there and away we go."
"Since coming to New York almost two years ago, [Scott] has done nothing but repair Sandy homes," the Deseret News reports. "Am I getting rich? Not on your life," said Scott. "But every morning my step is light, and I look forward to work."