It’s not over by a long shot. Staten Island still needs help.
Here is the final FEMA damage assessment by neighborhood.
Staten Island has the highest point on the eastern seaboard, but there was still severe flooding and and 23 deaths in neighborhoods near the ocean – at Midland Beach, South Beach, Oakwood Beach, and Tottenville. Here’s why:
When people first built houses on Staten Island, they usually put them on high ground. The island had a small population for two hundred and fifty years. In 1960, it was about two hundred and twenty thousand, by far the smallest of any borough. The opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in 1964, led to development all over the island, which has almost half a million residents today. As development will do, it kept expanding even after all the most likely sites were taken. In the 1970’s, it began to move into wetland areas, paving over streambeds and bogs and putting affordable bungalows on them. Almost all the Staten Islanders who died were on the outwash plain – that is, neighborhoods to the south of Hylan Boulevard.
You can read the entire article by Ian Frazier, an illustrated special reprint of The Toll: Sandy and the Future, from The New Yorker.
The work of rebuilding goes on. Please make a donation – in memory of an ancestor if you like – let’s help Staten Island Stay Strong!
(Note: I am not affliated with this or any fundraising group. But they do have awesome t-shirts.)
- More information about the rebuilding efforts and the spirit of Staten Island.
- Tricked by Topography: The Staten Island Neighborhood Where 11 Died During Sandy (wnyc.org)
- College Of Staten Island Holds Forum On Borough’s Sandy Recovery (statenisland.ny1.com)
- SI Scientists Say Sandy Damage Should Provide Guide In Rebuilding Efforts (statenisland.ny1.com)