Voices From Superstorm Sandy

BY Rebecca Jacobson and Saskia de Melker  November 19, 2012 at 2:30 PM EDT


A resident walks the debris filled beaches of Staten Island/ NewsHour photo by Brian Dentz

NEW YORK — Life on the shore is precarious for New Yorkers in the seaside neighborhoods of Breezy Point, Staten Island and Coney Island.

“We’re a community; we’re sea loving,” said Madeline Conway, who grew up on the beach in Breezy Point. “But it turned on us.”

Three weeks after Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the east coast, residents of New York’s hardest hit boroughs are still sifting through the remains of their homes, looking for salvageable family mementos and helping their neighbors clear away debris. It’s not the only weather-related disaster to hit these areas this year. The post-tropical storm was followed by a nor’easter which brought snow to already distraught neighborhoods. And the year before residents evacuated for Tropical Storm Irene, which flooded basements but otherwise left relatively minor damage.

NewsHour spoke with residents of these communities about the storm and whether protection barriers like levees or storm walls would change their mind about life on the beach. Watch the NewsHour this week for a report on how New York might protect itself from future storms.

Yolanda Quintana, Coney Island — “I don’t want to go through this again.”



Rich Resner, Breezy Point — “This storm went through my house, and it was a nasty storm inside the house.”



Ronald Forster, Staten Island — “Imagine going into your house and everything has to be thrown out.”



Madeleine Conway, Breezy Point — “We’re sea loving, but it turned on us.”