Hurricane Sandy rebuilding-compressed
Photo: John Gillespie/Flickr

Earlier this month, New Yorkers prepared themselves for Hurricane Joaquin, a powerful weather event called that threatened the city. Luckily the hurricane’s effects never made it to the Big Apple, but the first hurricane scare of the season raised questions about the city’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

Although Hurricane Sandy was three years ago this month, much has yet to be rebuilt. In fact, during the rains caused by Joaquin, residents of Brooklyn’s Sea Gate community were still rallying to rebuild their Lindy Park playground previously destroyed by Sandy.

Since Sea Gate is a private community, the residents were unable to use public funds to rebuild the recreational space. Indeed, both public and private entities are still recovering from Sandy.

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization devoted to revitalizing neighborhoods facing troubling times. They note that 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Since the hurricane, Rebuilding Together has helped put 600 residents back into homes. They have rebuilt over 350 homes and community centers, and remain committed to keeping up their work until every resident affected has been taken care of.

That’s not to say that a massive amount of work has not already been done. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in the last three years in New York and New Jersey, $1.4 billion has been allocated in individual assistance to disaster survivors. State, local and tribal governments have received $11.4 billion, and $770 million has been allocated in Hazard Mitigation grants.

Mayor De Blasio also recently pledged $100 million for flood protection for Lower Manhattan, including having deployable flood walls on reserve to help control storm surges and prevent flooding. Additionally, a third NYC Panel on Climate Change will focus on efficient resiliency plans so regions will be able to bounce back more quickly in the wake of unexpected weather events.

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