After Sandy, a Long Road Ahead
In the Northeast, many continue to struggle following the disastrous storm
Residents along the coast are still cleaning up damage from Hurricane Sandy. (Tom Mihalek / Reuters)
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, hundreds of thousands of people still do not have power in parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. On Wednesday, a type of storm called a nor’easter blew across the states hardest hit by the superstorm, bringing freezing temperatures to those already without heat, hot water, or electricity.
Nor’easters get their name from the direction in which the storms’ major winds blow—the northeast. They often bring heavy rain, snow, and ice, dangerous winds, and strong tides. Officials were worried that another strong storm just a week after Sandy would be a setback for the region’s recovery.
Across the Northeast, strong winds brought down more electrical wires, and water overflow damaged power stations. More than 220,000 homes in New Jersey had still not regained electricity after Sandy when the nor’easter hit. Another 167,000 homes in the state lost power after the second storm struck. Some people who had just gotten power back lost it again.
“The good news is we have not seen the kind of damage we saw with Hurricane Sandy, so we are confident we will be able to move forward with our recovery efforts,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters.
Over the past week, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have worked to help people in some of the worst-hit areas along the coast. They have delivered food, blankets, and batteries. They are also trying to find housing for thousands who have lost their homes to the storms.
Aid workers in New York and New Jersey are still not sure how many people need a place to stay. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that city officials are going door-to-door in damaged areas trying to find out how many people need help with housing. It may be as many as 40,000, he says.
In addition, thousands of volunteers have worked with local organizations and churches to help communities most affected by the hurricane. With some schools still closed, many college and high school students have offered their support.
“Many of these students themselves were impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” says Stephen J. Friedman, president of Pace University in New York City. “It’s particularly a noble thing to do for students, who themselves are sleeping on cots in a gym, to go out and help other people.”