by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Staff Writer
Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 24, 2012 as a category two storm with winds up to 115 miles per hour. Sandy affected 24 states from Florida to Maine with severe damage in New Jersey and New York.
Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines, and cutting power in the city. The damage in the United States estimated over $71 billion.
While Sandy did not have the intensity of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans in 2005, Sandy caused 72 deaths from causes like hypothermia due to power outages, carbon monoxide poisoning, and accidents during cleanup efforts.
“When the power came back on, me and my family watched the news and saw the destruction Hurricane Sandy caused. I was fortunate enough to lose my power for a week unlike some people who lost their houses,” said junior Kaitlin Grassi.
Six months after the Jet Star roller coaster fell off a pier in Seaside Heights, N.J , and sat in the middle of the ocean, is finally being torn down and removed.
Homes that were destroyed from the storm that were once piles of rubble from high winds and water damage are now being fixed or cleaned up by volunteer workers.
“During the storm, my family and I was so nervous for our beach house in Seaside. Luckily, when we found out that our house had no damage, we were stress free,” said junior Stephanie Holtje.
Beaches that were washed away due to storm surge are having dunes, sea walls, rock barriers and sand-filled fabric tubes built to guard homes from future storms.
Governor Christie promises that by Memorial Day weekend, every boardwalk destroyed at the Jersey Shore will be rebuilt. He also estimated 39,000 New Jersey families remain displaced, down from 161,000 the day after the storm.
However, in New York, more than 250 families are still living in hotel rooms paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, while others are living with relatives or temporary homes.
Just like beaches, transportation took a huge punch when subways, tunnels, bridges, and rail roads were damaged from flooding. The final cost to repair all the damages would be $4.755 billion.
Four hospitals in New York City were heavily damaged and were evacuated at the height of the storm. Six months after, the Manhatten Campus of VA New York Harbor Healthcare System remains closed.
The Community Health Center remains closed, but the hospital is operating two mobile medical offices in the area. Coney Island Hospital has reopened most of the building, including the emergency department. NYU Langone Medical Center has reopened much of its facility other than the emergency department.
The Red Cross was supporting people before, during, and after the hurricane. They released their six-month update on how they are using the donations they received. Approximately $302 million was donated as of April 18 to help those affected by Sandy. The Red Cross has spent or made a commitment to spend about $192 million of the donations.
Six months after Hurricane Sandy and we made some improvements like opening up hospitals, fixing houses, and cleaning up boardwalks. New Jersey, New York and other states along the eastern sea-board will forever be affected by the storm and no matter what, we will always remember the destruction it caused.
How well do you think New jersey is recovering from Sandy?