BILL DE BLASIO, New York City’s mayor, spent some of today painting a room in the Coney Island home of Margurie Batts, an octogenarian. Two years to the day after Hurricane Sandy battered her Brooklyn neighbourhood, Ms Batts’s home is still in need of repair. The invading storm waters almost reached the second floor of her row-house. The first floor is still in bad shape. She is not alone. Many neighbourhoods and thousands of houses in New York are still being rebuilt or reinforced, and there is much work to do.
Sandy’s impact was devastating. Forty-four lives were lost in New York City alone, 23 on Staten Island. Around 150,000 homes were damaged in the five boroughs, and many more along the north-east coast. The surge covered 17% of the city’s land and flooded road and subway tunnels. One train tunnel connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn only recently reopened; others need more work. The storm blanketed much of the city in darkness for days; some lacked electricity for nearly a month.
Two years on, the storm’s impact is still felt. Hundreds of coastal homes in Staten Island and the Rockaways, in Queens, have been...Continue reading