Wednesday, December 13, 2017

For many, Sandy's devastation persists

THE SCOPE: The storm, the deadliest and most destructive of the 2012 hurricane season, ripped a hole through the psyches and infrastructure of the Eastern Seaboard when it made landfall on Oct. 29 and struck hard in New Jersey, metropolitan New York and moved through New England.

At least 182 people died in the United States, millions were without power for days and in some areas, weeks. Gasoline shortages crunched rescue efforts and disrupted the supply of necessities such as food and water.

The federal government has already spent more than $14 billion in assistance to New York and New Jersey alone. At least $250 million has been spent on Sandy-related repair and recovery projects for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority region, which runs New York subways and buses.

Private funds have helped rebuild disaster areas from New Jersey's tourism boardwalks and beach communities to some of the estimated 300,000 homes that were destroyed or damaged.

THE METEOROLOGY: Hurricane Sandy grew to a Category 3 storm as it worked its way through the Caribbean. By Oct. 29, Sandy had moved ashore near Brigantine, N.J., just northeast of Atlantic City, as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

When it came ashore, it ran into other storm fronts coming in from the Midwest and down from Canada, a rare confluence that turned what would have been a bad hurricane into a disastrous superstorm. The severely energized storm affected parts of 24 states including the East Coast from Florida to Maine. It was a Category 1 hurricane covering an astounding 1.8 million square miles, according to NASA.

THE DAMAGE: Winds combined with incoming tides to flood low-lying areas and the famed tunnels of Manhattan, isolating the island from the rest of the city. A broad area south of 34th Street was cut off from transportation, and cellphone service failed.

In parts of Brooklyn and Queens, flooding forced electrical generators to fail, ending elevator service to high-rise buildings. Hospitals were evacuated, food and water was in short supply. Gasoline was rationed.

One of the iconic images of those days of nature's wrath was a fire that tore through Breezy Point, a popular place for many city workers, including firefighters. It is estimated that 350 homes, more than 10 percent of the area's houses, were destroyed by fire or flood and had to be demolished.

Today, more than a third of those homes remain unoccupied. Just six months ago, the area was 85 percent empty, officials told Newsday.

THE RECOVERY EFFORT: The rebuilding efforts remain huge. The National Climatic Data Center estimated the cost of Sandy at $65 billion, behind only Hurricane Katrina on the list of costliest disasters ever to hit the United States. Some people have used up their emergency benefits and are still seeking long-term housing. Whole communities from the Oakwood Beach area of Staten Island to Breezy Point, N.Y., to Long Beach on Long Island still need help despite hundreds of millions of dollars already spent — in some cases to buy out homeowners who stand no chance of rebuilding since land was washed into the sea.

Los Angeles Times

Comments
Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Quinton Flowers’ top 10 plays at USF

Understandably, an anticlimactic vibe hovers over the Birmingham Bowl for many USF fans, who were hoping their season would end a bit farther east, at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.But one still can't ignore this game's historical context: It's the last ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida education news: Testing, board pay, school zones and more

Florida education news: Testing, board pay, school zones and more

TESTING: Superintendents asked, and the Florida Department of Education delivered. Sort of. After Hurricane Irma interrupted schooling for a week or more, districts sought a delay in spring 2018 state testing. They got  an extended assessme...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

They tried to shut her up. They tried to make her go away. They made her life miserable. Yet Tanja Vidovic — persisted. Long before most people had ever heard of the knuckle-dragging sexually harassing escapades of oafs like Harvey Weinstein, ...
Updated: 1 minute ago

AP Top News at 8:28 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 8:28 a.m. EST
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Mentally ill, drug-addicted homeless pose challenge for city

Mentally ill, drug-addicted homeless pose challenge for city

The working-class city of Everett, Washington, has tried an array of strategies as it confronts a surge in the number of people living on its streets with severe mental illness and drug addiction
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Would-be suicide bomber in New York City faces court hearing

Would-be suicide bomber in New York City faces court hearing

A man charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the New York City subway system will have his first court proceeding in the hospital where he's in custody
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Rwanda-backed report alleges France's role in 1994 genocide

New Rwanda-backed report alleges France's role in 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Porzingis, Beasley help Knicks edge Lakers 113-109 in OT

Porzingis, Beasley help Knicks edge Lakers 113-109 in OT

Kristaps Porzingis had 37 points and 11 rebounds, Michael Beasley made the biggest plays in overtime, and the New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113-109
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Analysis: Trump bets on Moore and suffers stinging defeat

Analysis: Trump bets on Moore and suffers stinging defeat

Analysis: Trump bets on Moore and suffers stinging defeat
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Woman, 54, killed while crossing U.S. 19 in Hudson

HUDSON — A Hudson woman died Tuesday evening after being struck by a car while crossing U.S. 19 near Babson Avenue, according to Florida Highway Patrol.Patricia Lynn Pla, 54, was crossing U.S. 19 westbound about 6:10 p.m. when troopers said she was s...
Updated: 10 minutes ago