Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slow Progress Being Made in Hurricane Sandy Recovery

Julian Omidi discusses the very slow progress being made in the efforts to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Julian Omidi looks at affected areas and how they are coping with the recovery.

Even though the reports about the efforts to rebuild the east coast after the “super storm” have slowed to a crawl, it is still important to keep track of the repair progress.  Unfortunately, three months after the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, several districts are reporting the recovery efforts have stalled.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, there have been complaints regarding flood insurance claims, which have been slow to process. Flood insurance, which is mandatory for mortgaged homes in areas with a high flood risk, isn’t coming to many people with what are known as “garden-level units.” Insurance providers view them as basements, not homes or businesses, and therefore only replace boiler units.  The Mayor of Hoboken has challenged Congress to alter the flood insurance policies in order to provide equal coverage for basement homes.

Residents of public housing have seen the least progress. Electricity, heat and water services are spotty; the high waters brought infestation of water-loving insects like roaches and water bugs and residents still report that stalled elevators have left infirm and elderly residents stranded on the top floors. Because the New York City Housing Authority was so ill-prepared for this crisis, private charities took it upon themselves to bring food, blankets and medication to stranded public housing residents, many of whom didn’t have running water and who had to ration their prescription drug supply.  Today, many of the buildings in Coney Island, The Rockaways and Red Hook are still using mobile boiler units that must be operated via generators.

It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of the homes in Gerrittsen Beach, Brooklyn are described as unlivable.  Many of the older residents are still living in the cold, with only space heaters and blankets, and rely upon mobile units of medical staff from the Coney Island Hospital to help them cope with an especially harsh cold and flu season. Much of the debris has been cleared, however.  The water-logged furniture, carpeting, drywall and other damaged materials that littered the landscape has been cleared away, but the mold inside the homes is still a major problem.

It was reported that 40 percent of the population of Long Beach, New York has not yet returned since Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Buildings are still flooded and covered in mold and mildew. Small businesses are suffering horribly, and many of the local establishments have closed down, unable to earn enough revenue to make up for the thousands of dollars in damage repairs.  Many residents rely upon meal donation services, since their kitchens aren’t functional and restaurants too costly.

Recovery Remains Spotty 3 Months After Hurricane New York Times 1/21/2013

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how much Hurricane Sandy devastated families and communities throughout the eastern seaboard. Most of my basement is completely gone along with most of our valuables that were down there. We are now going through some extensive hurricane damage repair, and it will probably be a while until our basement is the way it used to be.