Just two years ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, devastating communities from Florida to New England, with some effects even reaching inland to Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. There was flooding, destruction, and even snowfall as the storm collided with an Arctic front, causing widespread panic and shock.
One of the most devastated areas was New York and, more specifically, the Coney Island area, home to the beloved amusement park of the same name. Although both are still in shambles, a little more help is on its way thanks to the single largest investment that’s been made in the sea-side development in decades: 108 million dollars.
Mayor de Blasio and several other elected officials made the announcement, saying, “This victory today is going to open the door for many more to come,” while outlining the previous delays and issues that previously plagued efforts to rebuild.
The money will be used to correct a number of issues that made Coney Island as vulnerable as it was when the Category 2 storm rocked its shores. The boiler system, for instance, will be raised following its flood during Hurricane Sandy. A system of flood barriers will also be erected in addition to upgrades to various buildings that should help prevent such excessive damage in the event of future storms of this magnitude.
The aftermath of Sandy has certainly been a struggle, as people still wait for payouts from their homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance. Many claims were rejected and many families are still struggling, but this $108 million grant should go a long way to rebuilding the community while the insurance companies manage the thousands of claims they were hit with following the disaster.
Mayor de Blasio had more to say after the announcement, taking multiple shots at ex-Mayor Bloomberg’s “Build it Back” program, a program that, until being taken over by Mayor de Blasio, had failed to approve the rebuilding of a single house. Since de Blasio took over the position, “Build it Back” has started construction of 500 homes.
Why did it take so long and how much is owner’s insurance helping? De Blasio remarks that the process itself was simply taking too long under Bloomberg, who focused more on resiliency than rebuilding, and while insurance companies struggled during this crisis, they were able to help those lucky enough to avoid the red tape.
Now that government aid has been granted to the rebuilding effort, aid from both the government and insurance companies can be used to rebuild and create a more resilient Coney Island that will hopefully stand up well to any future disasters.
At this point, it’s only a matter of time until the city is back to a resemblance of its former glory. The rebuilding process has been advancing since the disaster originally struck, and this grant was exactly the “shot in the arm” needed to boost the community’s morale and help them push through to the light at the end of the tunnel. The community has shown for nearly two years that nothing can defeat their tenacious need to rebuild.