Six Months After Hurricane Sandy, Signs of Economic Life Emerging from the Rubble

An insurance adjuster surveys a destroyed property on

It’s been six months since Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast, the second most damaging and ferocious combination hurricane & cold weather front to ever hit the United States. [ Hurricane Katrina has been the only storm to inflict more damage. ]

When the storm struck I blogged and reported on it nonstop for a week. The world was riveted by the sheer size and mass of this behemoth superstorm, which blanketed the entire upper east coast of the United States well into New England, parts of Canada, with storm effects stretching as far south as northern Alabama.

Six months later tens of thousands of people remain homeless or displaced. Others are still living out of boxes and suitcases in hotel rooms across New Jersey and New York state while they battle in out with insurance companies. Any semblance of normal life has been washed away for thousands of families still coping with the red tape nightmare aftermath of trying to rebuild shattered homes and lives. Children’s sense of normalcy and routine has been utterly disrupted in all of this and they often suffer the most.

Many new oddities have emerged as side effects of the hazards wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Used car buyers are cautioned as never before with “Buyer Beware” to try to avoid purchasing a vehicle which may have been partially submerged and water damaged by Sandy. Tens of thousands of automobiles sitting parked on new and used car lots, parked in garages or on the street were submerged in the storm surge deluge when Sandy hit. These vehicles are not a good bet as an auto purchase and articles are being written telling consumers how to avoid these formerly ‘sogged out’ autos by all means when shopping for a car.

In south Jersey shore region of Moonachie and Little Ferry, mold is now the new enemy. Other New Jersey residents are feeling the pinch of escalating double digit increases in the price of property insurance.

Hopeful signs are scattered among the wreckage and detritus left behind by the storm.

1.7 billions dollars in federal HUD block grant money will soon begin to be distributed to communities in New York state affected by the storm.

Writer Katie McFadden of Rockaway New York writes that “Everybody remembers what they were doing on October 29th 2012.”  Six months later residents of Rockaway New York are still struggling to cope with the losses inflicted by the storm, but residents have hope that brighter days are ahead.

Mariners in Barnegat Bay New Jersey report that the bay is fine and the waterways are safe to travel. They are inviting visitors to come and spend a day on the bay.

Tony’s Pier Restaurant in the Bronx New York, will re-open this summer. The popular eatery had been completely destroyed by fire related to hurricane Sandy.

In Suffolk Virginia, Bennett’s Creek Restaurant and Marina has announced plans to re-open soon.
In northeast Ohio, shrubs and evergreens are in high demand as homeowners and businesses rebuild, replant and re-landscape areas destroyed by the storm.

Many Jersey Shore towns are pleased to announce that they are “open for business” six months after Sandy.

Teens from Yonkers New York recently took a field trip to Fire Island to help clean debris still lingering from the storm.
East coast writers are also penning posts wagering that Atlantic City will soon make an economic comeback. Grace Bello, an NBC News contributor, blamed flawed and misleading national news media coverage of hurricane Sandy on the serious slump in visits to Atlantic city since the storm hit:

“Atlantic City casinos were forced to shut their doors on Oct. 28 during the storm. Protected by the dunes, the infrastructure of Atlantic City’s tourist district was barely harmed by Sandy, and the casinos reopened within a week. But national news footage had shown the city’s iconic boardwalk engulfed in waves. Afterward, TV correspondents toured a 50-foot section that lay in splinters. However, media coverage missed that the portion of the boardwalk that suffered was in a residential neighborhood a half-mile away from the last casino on the boardwalk, and had been in disrepair for years.

Nonetheless, according to a November survey by Russel Research, 41 percent of Americans believed Atlantic City’s boardwalk had been destroyed.”

Go Spend Some Money on the Eastern Seaboard This Summer

If you are planning a trip or vacation, consider the east coast this summer.  Why not make plans to visit and spend some time and some money at an east coast resort town in Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware or New York State?  Your money will be well spent, bringing just a little more hope and economic sunshine into the lives of our friends and neighbors back east who are literally rebuilding their livelihoods, often from scratch.  The businesses they are trying to resurrect need your support.  And you might just have the time of your life while you are there.

Ortley Beach Sandy.JPG

LEFT: Car sits flooded near downtown Crisfield as Hurricane Sandy pounded the region. RIGHT: Same spot today.

forests-multimedia.JPG

Facts about Hurricane Sandy

Superstorm Sandy, a hybrid of a hurricane and two cold-weather systems, struck on Oct. 29, concentrating most of its fury on New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and becoming one of the most expensive storms in history. Six months later, the region is still recovering and the scope of the storm has come into sharper focus. Figures are as of April 26.

___

DEATHS:  The National Hurricane Center attributes 72 deaths in the United States directly to Sandy and 87 more indirectly, from causes such as hypothermia due to power outages, carbon monoxide poisoning and accidents during cleanup efforts, for a total of 159.

___

DAMAGE:  The Hurricane Center estimated Sandy’s damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states in 2005. Congress approved more than $60 billion in storm aid for Sandy victims and their communities.

___

HOUSING AID:  The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid out $959 million for housing assistance and $848 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New York state, and $387.4 million in housing grants and $263 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New Jersey.

___

DISASTER LOANS:  The Small Business Administration has made $1.4 billion in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses in New York, and $731 million in New Jersey.

___

FLOOD INSURANCE:  The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $3.4 billion in claims in New York, and another $3.3 billion in New Jersey.

___

UTILITIES:  Jersey Central Power & Light says 1.3 million customers lost power in New Jersey. It cut 65,000 trees to help restore power, fixed 34,000 downed wires and put up 6,700 new utility poles. In New York, Consolidated Edison has strung 60 miles of new electrical cable after the storm and eventually restored power to more than 1 million customers.

___

Sources: National Hurricane Center, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jersey Central Power & Light, Con Ed

Six Months After Sandy: Sea Gate Family’s Recovery Still A Struggle

Residents of Staten Island’s high-end Nicolosi Drive still struggling after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy proved too much for many of New Jersey’s storm-damaged forests

Finding Gas After Hurricane Sandy: Tips, Links, Resources, Twitter Accounts

Finding Gas in NYC, NJ, CT

Saturday 11.03.12 update

Begin here: www.Findgas.org

Gov. Christie has signed an executive order rationing gas for NJ residents in 12 counties. You can read that report here.

New Jersey residents on Twitter follow @njgas

NYC residents on Twitter note that @nycgas’s account has been suspended, so follow @GasBuddy or go to:
 http://gasbuddy.com

List of Gas Stations that CURRENTLY Have Lots of Regular Unleaded GAS

#NYCgas map showing gas station locations [ I don’t know which of these stations are out of gas. ]

Mappler.net map of NYC, NJ gas station locations

On Twitter, some hashtags to find gas include: #njgas, #nygas, #nycgas and #brooklyngas. In addition, you can follow the Twitter accounts of @GasBuddy and @njgas. Other Twitter handles such as @brooklyngas and @nygas don’t have many followers – but, as of Friday morning – were pumping out information. (Pun intended.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/power-slowly-returns-in-ny-after-storm-some-small-explosions-felt-in-manhattan-neighborhood/2012/11/03/630fde8c-25b4-11e2-92f8-7f9c4daf276a_story.html