It certainly is not uncommon for people in society to watch the news and become enraptured by the sheer force and devastation of deadly hurricanes that inflict upon local communities. However, as soon as the news coverage stops addressing the hurricane, the majority of the country's population returns to their normal lives and is entirely unaware of the devastating economic effects of the storm, which sensational news stories often do not cover. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy began far from New York City on the eastern coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy was by no means an ordinary hurricane. After a short amount of time that few foresaw, Sandy hit New York City, and the storm devastated the city with chaos and destruction. Sandy caused many deaths and injuries, and many people who were living in inundation zones were forced to evacuate. Moreover, the hurricane caused numerous homes to be lost, as well as loss of power/electricity, healthcare, education, and transportation; as well, billions of dollars and much time to repair the extensive damage became an immediate necessity. This catastrophic tragedy is important to study and remember because it left many people in poor living conditions and economically damaged New York City, which was extensive and long-lasting. The importance of natural disasters and the impact of their devastating events that American society needs to remember will remind people that destruction is very real, and we as a society need to stand together and not easily forget the importance of helping others who suffer under these unavoidable conditions.
The effects of physical damage to buildings were incredibly bad. The underground railroads were filled with sand after the flood. Many buildings were damaged, and some did collapse. According to "Sandy and Its Impacts," from the city's published report A Stronger, More Resilient New York, there were “90,000 buildings” damaged that were located in a flooding area, and to recover from the disaster, “$19 billion” dollars were spent to to repair and recover from the damages of Sandy (11). The recovery process, for the most part, took two years.
The effects of storm on the people of New York were dreadful. According to "Sandy and Its Impacts," this tragic event caused a reported “43 people” deaths and the majority of them occurred in Staten Island (13). The homes that families had tended to over generations were destroyed, and many other people lost electricity and heat. The power outage affected the functioning of transportation and telecommunications, among other crucial functions. The absence of subways and other transportation systems affected both education and people’s jobs, as an innumerable amount of local citizens rely on subway transportation every day.
The effects of this tragedy on the environment and economy caused New York City to lose billions of dollars, particularly due to the closing of airports, as well as minimum travel, open stores, functioning ferries, and more. “Damages to the transportation system were initially estimated to total $65 million,” and this only ended up being a fraction of the total damage to the city (Klaus H. Jacob, 5).
Hurricane Sandy was an unpreventable event caused by nature. Even though we tried to be prepared before it hit the city, New York had numerous vulnerabilities which we did not prepare for. Hurricane Sandy’s legacy is an important historic event because we can learn how to prepare ourselves if we should face a storm like Sandy again in the future.
Source: Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. A Stronger, More Resilient New York. New York City: Government of New York City, 2013. Print.