Six months later: Hurricane Sandy’s damage lingers on Long Beach

Superstorm Sandy devastated most of the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, with its most severe damage hitting New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. While most areas have recovered, there are equally as many areas that are still suffering the storm’s damage. One of these areas include the city of Long Beach on Long Island, New York. The following compilation of multimedia elements about this topic is by Ashley Hartman, Magdalene Michalik, Taylor Leonard-Coleman, and Christopher Owens.


Check out our video which shows the Long Beach community speaking out about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


Take a look at our Vuvox which shows a series of photos of Long Beach in its reconstruction process.


We reached out to residents and learned that they are still struggling daily to cope from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Rebuilding Hearts and Homes

Superstorm Sandy hit New York and neighboring states like New Jersey approximately seven months ago, and the exhausting recovery attempt carries on with repairing, rebuilding and reopening devastated homes and businesses. The process has been rough and many people are still stressed in the aftermath of one of the most vicious storms to hit the Northeast region.

According to Long Beach Police Department Commissioner Michael Tagney, 30 percent of Long Beach’s residents have not returned to their homes after Hurricane Sandy. Many residents have not returned yet because there is nothing for them to return to.

“I evacuated my condo on West Park Avenue the day before the storm hit in late October and I am still out,” said Shari Kivet Stier, a Long Beach resident. “I had insurance but no flood insurance, so the process for rebuilding is taking much longer then expected. I lost everything.”

Superstorm Sandy has left countless Long Beach families stressed to conquer the natural damage and defeat that resulted from one of the worst storms to hit Long Island.  The large quantity of building wreckage and still vacant residences confirm the reality that almost no one on this beach island was unaffected by this superstorm. What is not so candidly displayed, however, is the emotional suffering and mental wounds that frequently follow a tragic event like Sandy.

“I couldn’t even eat for weeks,” said Elliot Posner, a Long Beach resident. “I was devastated at the damage that Sandy caused both to my home and to my family. My kids were out of school for weeks and we lost basically our whole life. The rebuilding of my entire life was hard to grasp and still is but there is nothing I could of done and I just try my best everyday not to let the feeling overwhelm me.”

Posner is a father of four and has lived in Long Beach for only a few years. His house was completely flooded, ruining almost everything. He was stranded from his house for three months and when his family moved back in they still had no running water. The reconstruction of his house can take almost a year while waiting for insurance and money from FEMA.

“Waiting for FEMA is like watching paint dry,” said Posner. “It’s a long process but I have to do it for my family. We’ve been volunteering and helping the community rebuild that’s the only thing I want to happen.”

Tragedies like Superstorm Sandy often bring communities together. Now that the summer is quickly approaching we can still see that the camaraderie amongst fellow Long Beach citizens is still shining strong.


Check out our Storify about the public’s reactions about reconstructing the boardwalk:

Long Beach boardwalk reconstruction begins after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy wrecked the town of Long Beach during its path on between October 22-21, 2012. The storm was the most destructive and deadliest hurricane in 2012. The damage included the Long Beach boardwalk.

  1. Long Beach, NY Boardwalk Transition, part 1
  2. On April 27, 2013, reconstruction of the boardwalk began. The public is reminiscent while it awaits the beloved boardwalk to come back stronger than it was before.
  3. First trip to Long Beach since the hurricane. It looks so wrong without the boardwalk 😦
  4. Ship lights out at sea. So odd not having my beloved boardwalk, but it shall be back. Love my Long Beach.
  5. my summer won’t be the same without the boardwalk at long beach #memories
  6. Thought to myself I want to ride my bike on the boardwalk at long beach… Then I remembered there was no boardwalk #fusandy
  7. Others express their dissent about the $44 million project as many are still displaced from their homes.
  8. Long Beach is apparently getting close to 200 million in FEMA aid……included in this amount will be the 44 MILLION for the boardwalk……..Curious about where the other 156 Million is going? Directly to homeowners? Is the City using that money for overtime costs related to Hurricane Sandy too? What will be left for the homeowners? What will be left for the businesses? What will be left for the INFRASTRUCTURE that was damaged as a result of Sandy?
  9. The Long Beach boardwalk is going to
    cost 44 Million Dollars to repair ???Hahaha Hahahaaa !!! Unbelievable !!
    Oh my Lord !! Not hard to understand why this country is falling apart man. That is just incredible.
  10. it really annoys me every time i hear that the long beach boardwalk costs $44million to rebuild and fema will pick up most of the cost. i enjoy the boardwalk too but isnt it more important for people to rebuild their homes
  11. My family has been in Long Beach for close to a century, but I cannot, in good conscience go to support a boardwalk “groundbreaking” ceremony when our infrastructure is collapsing around us. I love this City, but families and businesses are still displaced. 44 Million dollars for a boardwalk is shameful.
  12. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that the Broadwalk is finally getting rebuilt but what about the our homes? When will the “people””WE” get anything from all those fundraisers supposedly done for us? It’s been almost 6 months and we’re still displaced!
  13. More information about restoring the Long Beach boardwalk can be found here:
  14. The boardwalk will not be finished by the end of this summer. However, pieces of the 2.2 mile public attraction will open one at a time.

Listen up, New Yorkers

At some point, we have all experienced hearing someone’s music blasting from his or her headphones. Sometimes it feels as though you are listening to the music yourself.

There is a point where too loud becomes too dangerous. A recent report conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey stated that 1 in 5 teens have hearing loss.  These numbers are only increasing.

Hofstra student Ehlayna Napolitano listens to loud music while walking to classes and doing work. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

Hofstra student Ehlayna Napolitano listens to loud music while walking to classes and doing work. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign last week. This public health initiative will include education over social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. More specifically, the target audience is mostly teens.

Wait, Bloomberg, wasn’t this the plot of Footloose? In this fictitious musical, enjoying music in public is banned.

“People who are exposed to loud noises interferes with the ability for the hair cells in our ear to send messages to the brain,” said Dr. Doron Milstein, audiologist and professor at Hoftra University. “It ultimately affects our ability to communicate if you’re unable to hear or misinterpret sounds.”

The clinical term for this is called noise induced hearing loss, according to Milstein. As of now, hearing loss is a permanent damage. The most damage will occur to the people who are exposed to the longest and loudest noises.

According to Milstein, inside the middle ear section of the ear, there are hair cells that are stimulated by sound. When the cells receive the message, it sends the message from a nerve to the brain stem. Then, the brain processes the sound. Therefore, when there is damage in the hair cells, it affects our ability to hear. This damage is exactly what loud music playing in headphones does.

Unless we protect ourselves, those are the consequences. We need to educate people to understand that you can’t just take an antibiotic or drops to fix this.

“The less you expose yourself the better,” said Milstein. “Hearing loss inhibits people’s daily functioning. With this one, education is the key to prevention.”

This education is exactly what the Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign is promoting.

Ultimately, they’re not trying to stop us to listen to music. They’re just trying to cause awareness to something, like smoking.

I have a feeling that New York City won’t be as dramatic as the town of Bomont from Footloose, but it is taking the proper steps to ensure appropriate education to the public.

People use their iPods and other music players to listen to their music on full blast. There should be greater awareness about hearing loss. Once it's gone, it's gone. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

People use their iPods and other music players to listen to their music on full blast. There should be greater awareness about hearing loss. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

State of the Union Address Live Blog

10:16 p.m.

Obama: It remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.

The SOTU is over. I’m interested to see how the official Republican response by Senator Marco Rubio will go.

10:11 p.m.

Obama: These proposals deserve a vote.

Chants, cheers, and a standing ovation dominates the chamber as disgruntled Republicans remain seated.

10:08 p.m.

Gun control- here we go. Obama is definitely appealing to pathos through anecdotes and emotional statements.

Obama: Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

10:05 p.m.

Is it just me or is there so much hope in this speech?

Obama calls for equal treatment of service members- gay or straight.

10:03 p.m.

Obama is touching on some foreign policy topics such as North Korean disarmament and connecting with the global community such as working with the European Union.

9:57 p.m.

Obama: And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.

9:55 p.m.

Did anyone catch that slow clap started by VP Biden?

9:51 p.m.

Obama thinks federal minimum wage should be $9.00 an hour. Right now, it is $7.25. Obama believes in a realistic minimum wage.

9:49 p.m.

Transition into women’s rights, thanking the Senate for passing the Violence Against Women Act. (No thanks to the 22 Senators who voted against it.)

POTUS asks for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

9:48 p.m.

Education talk transitioning into immigration reform.

9:46 p.m.

This is major!! POTUS is currently addressing the skyrocketing costs of higher education and asks colleges to keep their costs low. Hofstra are you listening?!

Obama: Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.

9:44 p.m.

Obama is proposing major changes in the education system starting with preschools all the way to the high school level.

Obama: Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.

9:42 p.m.

I love when people randomly exclaim things from the audience. “That’s right!” and “Woo’s” definitely would encourage me.

9:33 p.m. 

Cheers coming from the audience when the topic of energy came up. Wow- when was the last time climate change was brought up?

9:31 p.m. 

POTUS promises proposals to stimulate the nation as a whole.

Apple will begin manufacturing back in the US? Woah!

Obama: It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.

9:28 p.m. 

Take a shot every time there is a close up of a Republican with a sour face on.

9:26 p.m. 

Obama received a standing ovation.

Obama: Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep, but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.

9:18 p.m. 

Obama: The state of our union is stronger.

9:16 p.m. 

President Obama’s speech clearly begins with a foreshadowing of the need for both parties to work together.

Obama quoting Kennedy: The Constitution Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.

9:10 p.m. 

President Obama enters and is greeted by warm cheering and booming applause.

9:06 p.m. 

POTUS has yet to come out, but I would like to applaud the 40 or so Senators wearing an orange pin, vowing for progress despite bipartisanship.

Vatican Confirms Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation

  1. Pope Benedict XVI will resign from his position on February 28, 2013. The official statement can be read here. The pope cited his illness and weakness to not continue his 8 year tenure beginning on April 24, 2005.
  2. There is speculation as to who the next pope will be. Any unmarried man is eligible to be appointed, however, a cardinal has always been chosen for more than 1,000 years. The international community voiced their opinions through social media.
  3. What precedent will Pope Benedict’s resignation create? Retirement at 75-80? Younger Pope’s elected?
  4. Our prayers are with Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to resign from the papacy, and we celebrate his eight fruitful years as the leader of the Church! “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
  5. As a Catholic, I’m not buying this. Popes don’t just quit because they’re tired. What’s going on here??
  6. The Queen’s a year older than The Pope. Can’t see her ever resigning because she’s tired. #indefatigability1infallibility0
  7. What’s a Twitter account for if you can’t drop bombshell news on it? @Pontifex is silent on Pope’s resignation.
  8. Who will be the next Pope? Pope Benedict XVI have already signed his resignation letter and by the end of this month will be his last day of being a Pope of the Roman Catholics. For almost 8years of being Pope, Joseph Ratzinger decided to end his term due to his health issues. After him, who will be the new Pope of the Century?
  9. RT @ckanal: #Pope‘s final tweet before resignation: “We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us”
  10. RT @BBCWorld: #Pope Benedict XVI “reached an age that only very few of his predecessors had reached”, his brother Georg Ratzinger tells #BBCNewsday
  11. Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t seem to have taken his lifetime appointment from God very seriously.
  12. In 1415, Gregory XII was the last pope to resign. This was during the Great Schism, where three popes reigned at the same time. Pope Benedict XVI will be the fifth pope in history to resign.