The Year of Sandy: Staten Island

A sign outside a house in Tottenville, Staten Island reads: "THANK YOU ALLSTATE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE. APPROVED FOR $165.35 IN DAMAGES. We are in 'Good Hands'!!"
An enlarged copy of an insurance check is posted on the garage of a boarded-up house in Tottenville, Staten Island. A sign on the second floor said “THANK YOU ALLSTATE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE. APPROVED FOR $165.35 IN DAMAGES. We are in ‘Good Hands’!!” Credit: Emily Johnson

The Year of Sandy

One year ago, when the Atlantic Ocean receded to its proper place, the devastation it had wrought was all too apparent in the morning light. Help poured in from out of state, from other parts of the city, from neighbors.

But relief efforts of that scale never last, and winter wore on. For people from Coney Island to Staten Island to the Rockaways, Sandy didn’t fade away when the next disaster hit.

It was a long year.

Staten Island

The crunch of shovels digging into mulch fills the air as a couple dozen volunteers work on beautifying a little corner of Tottenville, Staten Island.

But when Anthony Molkay looks around, he doesn’t just see a quiet cul-de-sac a stone’s throw from the beach. He remembers.

“It was hell,” says the 21-year-old College of Staten Island student, looking up the street as if seeing the sand that stretched a block and a half inland, past smashed windows and mountains of ruined belongings that residents had dredged up from their basements.

Unlike Brooklyn and Queens, by and large, Staten Island is a borough of homeowners rather than renters. It raised the stakes for people trying to recover — which also turned them into fierce advocates for themselves and their neighbors. And they were vocal when they felt they were not getting their fair share.

Just a few blocks from the volunteers is a house with most of its first floor still boarded up after the floodwaters raged through. A banner emblazoned across the second floor says “”THANK YOU ALLSTATE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE. APPROVED FOR $165.35 IN DAMAGES. We are in ‘Good Hands’!!” A blown-up copy of the check is displayed on the garage door, listing hail and wind damage as the reason for the reimbursement.

Very few people had flood insurance, meaning some have turned to buyouts in flood-prone areas like Oakwood Beach. The first such house was demolished only last week.

“There’s still a lot of houses waiting for the funding and the loans,” Molkay says. “One thing I’ve noticed is that when there’s a national tragedy, people forget about it as soon as there’s another national tragedy.”

Check out the slideshow below.

The Year of Sandy: The Rockaways

The Year of Sandy: Coney Island

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.