NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — On the second anniversary of the day Superstorm Sandy devastated New York, many residents are still recovering — and waiting for funding.
The October 2012 storm devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in the state. The storm was blamed for at least 182 deaths and $65 billion in damage in the U.S.
Flags on New York state government buildings flew at half-staff Wednesday to mark the anniversary. Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the flag lowering to honor the 61 men and women who lost their lives to the storm in New York.
“Two years ago, New York state was hit by one of the worst natural disasters in a generation,” Cuomo said. “As we mark the second anniversary of this horrific storm, let us pause to remember those who were lost, as well as the countless others who were impacted by Sandy.”
There are some concrete signs of tougher protections now, including a Long Island boardwalk rebuilt to serve as a retaining wall. New York Rising, the crisis agency created to dole out money to 15,000 Long Island applicants, said 90 percent have received checks.
New floodgates now protect a power plant where Sandy plunged miles of Manhattan into darkness and some homes sit higher while other buildings boast new flood barriers.
Enhanced preparedness has hardened backup power systems at hospitals, forged new systems to flood-proof subway vents, installed generators at dozens of gas stations to run pumps in a power outage, redrawn evacuation-zone maps and reshaped emergency plans for managing problems from debris to traffic.
But many planned projects are still years off and some ideas still under study. Thousands of homeowners await repair aid, some of it coupled with steps to make homes safer. Some efforts to buy out flood-prone homes haven’t gotten takers in the worst-hit areas. And across the coast, a patchwork of protections leaves some areas more vulnerable than others.