Hurricane Sandy brought ashore water and sand, depositing four feet of mud in the basements of homes and business in Rockaway Beach. As the photographs show, the boardwalk came dislodged from its concrete moorings and were swept right into buildings large and small along with torrents of sea water.
Cars became bumper boats and crashed into homes, with some area high-rises forced to evacuate three days later to decide if they need to be condemned because their foundations were compromised.
Relief efforts have included waves of Homeland Security agents, FEMA, the National Guard, and community volunteers. Virtually every business on the 116th Street retail strip was wiped out. Cars were “totaled” after being submerged and tossed around, with insurance adjusters simply cutting “book value” checks because they are too busy to make inspection visits.
Questioned about rebuilding, locals say they haven’t even thought about it yet. Still without power, they are still in the beginning stage of debris removal and damage assessment. The nation may have seen the 60 Minutes report on Bell Harbor, and knows well the plight of the Breezy Point fire/flood disaster, but after the beach Eastward to the less affluent Rockaway Beach, we see another community that may never be the same.
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