Hurricane Sandy is a hurricane that hit eight countries in 2012. Countries that were affected by the hurricane were the United States, Cuba, Canada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, and Haiti. Hurricane Sandy caused the death of 286 people globally. In the United States, 71 people were killed by the hurricane. In New York State, forty-three people died courtesy of the hurricane. During the hurricane, tropical storm winds would sweep over an area of about 1,000 miles in diameter, with immense force. Peak winds were too profound to the extent that they traveled at least 100 miles per hour around the Gulf of Mexico and 220 miles per hour near Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the United States, a total of 24 states experienced effects of Hurricane Sandy. Storm effects that stemmed from hurricane sandy include rain, wind, blizzards, floods and coastal surges. Water levels did rise along the United States of America East Coast, from as far as Florida to Maine. Profound storm surges were experienced in New York and New Jersey. In New York City, public transit had to be suspended, and major bridges had to be closed. Most victims of Hurricane Sandy drowned. Suffice is to say that coastal communities in the United States bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. Coastal communities of Rockaway Peninsula and Long Beach were adversely affected by the hurricane. It is estimated that $19 billion was the economic impact of Hurricane Sandy on citizens of New York City. Rockaway and Long Island were profoundly affected by Hurricane Sandy because they were built on a sandbar. There are those who argue that it was wrong in the first place for Rockaway and Long Beach communities to be built on sand bars. The individuals affirm that had the communities not been built on sandbars, the effect of hurricane sandy on the communities would not have been that profound. The paper critically examines effects of Hurricane Sandy on coastal communities of Rockaway and Long Beach, how society dealt with the hurricane and how the police department dealt with possible narcotic issues.
Hurricane Sandy caused a large magnitude of destruction. There was the destruction of thousands of houses and vehicles. New York Citys subway system was flooded courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. There was a suspension of commuter bus and railway services. There was damage to property in Rockaway and Long Beach courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of homes in Rockaway and Long Beach were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Houses including bungalows were damaged by the hurricane. After the hurricane, there was a need for cleanup of the areas. Many people from neighboring counties and states volunteered to take part in the cleanup exercise. Ocean surge from Hurricane Sandy left many homes inundated. Beachfront playgrounds were damaged by the storm. Roller coasters were destroyed. Amusement parks in the two communities were also destroyed courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. Basements were flooded by the ocean surge. The Rockaway neighborhood was heavily damaged by the hurricane. As a matter of fact, a large section Rockaways iconic boardwalk was destroyed by the hurricane. Bridges were wrecked in Rockaway and Long Beach neighborhoods. Damage to property profoundly affected daily lives in the communities. As part of the reconstruction process, bungalows had to be demolished so that they could be redeveloped. New housing developments have emerged in Rockaway and Long Beach after Hurricane Sandy. There are freshly built homes in Rockaway and Long Beach communities. However, some homes were not salvaged, and some businesses remain shuttered. Some victims are still looking for a place to live after their homes were destroyed by the hurricane. Streets in the two communities were also damaged courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. The communities were left with a huge pile of debris. It took months for the debris to be cleaned up (Jaramillo, 2012).
Power outages became a serious problem in Rockaway and Long Beach courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. About 80% of Rockaway and Long Beach residents suffered from power outages that were caused by the hurricane. The power outage problem persisted in the communities until normalcy returned. Power outages were fuelled by the destruction of power lines and scarcity of gas. Gas became scarce in the communities to the extent that the New York City Council started to offer free fuel. Gas lines in wait for free fuel were characteristically long. The scarcity of fuel fuelled vandalism and crime in the communities. Some people developed a habit of illegally siphoning gas and fuel from vehicles and generators (Murphy, 2015).
Huge amounts of money were spent in trying to deal with effects of Hurricane Sandy. Damages that stemmed from Hurricane Sandy have been estimated to be about $75 billion. It is estimated that about $50 billion was used in dealing with Hurricane Sandy, making Hurricane Sandy the second costliest natural disaster in the United States history after Hurricane Katrina. In New York City alone, it is estimated that losses that stemmed from Hurricane Sandy were more than $19 billion. Residents of Rockaway and Long Beach had to be evacuated because of the adverse effects of the storm (Semple, 2015).
Massive flooding was witnessed in Rockaway and Long Beach courtesy of the ocean surge from the hurricane. The flooding was significant to the extent that President Barrack Obama declared the floods a major disaster. There was water outages in Rockaway and Long Beach Island courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. Water outages were caused by the destruction of water systems in New York courtesy of the hurricane (Smollins, 2016).
Cases of robbery, gasoline siphoning out of vehicle tanks of vehicles that were affected by the hurricane were common in Rockaway and Beach, New York. Cases of gasoline siphoning were high in Rockaway and Long Island because the hurricane had made gasoline to become a scarce commodity. There was also theft of generators during the hurricane. Looting was a major problem in Long Beach with many looters posing as rescue workers. Looting became a major problem on Long Island to the extent that police officers had to start patrolling the area (Jaramillo, 2012).
Trauma plagued residents of Rockaway and Long Beach courtesy of losing their property and having to be evacuated because of Hurricane Sandy. Most of the residents are still suffering from the trauma; they are yet to recover fully. The residents are still finding it difficult to go back to their normal lives. Normalcy may have returned on the outside of the people who were affected by the hurricane, but on the inside, they are still suffering, mentally and emotionally. Rebuilding efforts have not been enough to make victims of hurricane sandy to fully recover from their harrowing experience. Traumatic effects of the hurricane are shown by the high number of unrepaired homes in the communities. The communities are full of cases of residents who left their homes, never to come back after the hurricane (Smollins, 2016).
Fires were experienced in Rockaway and Long Beach Island courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. Most fires were caused by trees falling on power lines. The fires destroyed business and property. Fires were also caused courtesy of being brought down by storms that emanated from Hurricane Sandy (Murphy, 2015).
The society dealt with Hurricane Sandy by evacuating people from hard-hit areas. Relief aid was provided for individuals who were affected by the hurricane. New York State government introduced a stringent legislature that would ensure that construction of buildings near the sea is done in a way that would make the buildings mitigate effects of storms. Police officers intensified their operations in Rockaway and Long Beach communities as a way of combating illegal possible narcotic issues. Dealers in narcotics had earlier, had a field day because of the lawlessness that had been created by the catastrophe (Jaramillo, 2012).
On a positive note, Hurricane Sandy created a sense of cohesion among Rockaway and Long Beach communities. Prior to the hurricane, people used to be individualistic in how they carried out themselves. The hurricane successfully broke down barriers that for years had made it impossible for people in the community to interact freely. During the hurricane, strangers came to the aid of each other and community members who had never interacted found an opportunity to interact. Nowadays, people in the communities refer to each other with first names because the social barriers that used to exist among them were broken courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. The anonymity that used to be prevalent in the communities has been stifled (Semple, 2015).
Jaramillo, J.J. (2012). Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath. Slate. Retrieved on June 10, 2017, from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/gallery/2012/11/hurricane_sandy_s_aftermath_is_worse_than_you_think_photos_of_the_devastation.html
Murphy, J. (2015). 3 Years After Hurricane Sandy, Is New York Prepared for the Next Great Storm? The Nation. Retrieved on June 10, 2017, from https://www.thenation.com/article/3-years-after-hurricane-sandy-is-new-york-prepared-for-the-next-great-storm/
Semple, K. (2015). Documentary Looks at Hurricane Sandys Toll on Rockaways. The New York Times. Retrieved on June 10, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/nyregion/documentary-looks-at-hurricane-sandys-toll-on-rockaways.html?_r=0
Smollins, M. (2016). East Rockaway residents still feeling the impact of Hurricane Sandy. LiHerald. Retrieved on June 10, 2017, from http://liherald.com/lynbrook/stories/East-Rockaway-Residents-still-feeling-the-impact-of-Hurricane-Sandy,84910
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