Paul Lurrie On Storm's Devastation: 'It Was Very Numbing Afterwards'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It has been a year since superstorm Sandy made landfall.

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But just how far have some of the hardest hit neighborhoods come in that time?

A Belle Harbor, Queens man set out to document the rebuilding process over the last 365 days.

As CBS 2’s Tamara Leitner reported, Paul Lurrie took photos immediately after Sandy hit and followed up to track how his neighborhood recovered from the storm.

“I felt like I shouldn’t be walking on this ground here, it was almost like sacred ground,” Lurrie told Leitner. “I couldn’t help it. I felt like it needed to be documented.”


Three days after Sandy devastated the Rockaways, Lurrie started snapping pictures.

“It was very numbing afterwards to see this area that I just know so well and especially this area just devastated,” he told Leitner.

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Lurrie said for months the landscape around Belle Harbor, Neponset and Breezy Point remained the same.

“There really was no evidence of rebuilding,” said Lurrie.

Almost a year later, he went back to the exact same spots and took new photos from the same vantage point.

“The building began just literally overnight so I think it’s going to transform the whole landscape,” Lurrie said.

The rebuilding is now evident. Debris removed has been removed, roads are repaired and homes have been erected where there once was nothing.

“I think it’s really interesting and it’s really nice to see that something’s being done finally after months and months of just the place laying fallow,” he told Leitner.

Lurrie says he really only started to see buildings go up about two months ago.

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