Staten Island, Hurricane Sandy And The Impact Of New Homes In Storm-Ravaged Areas

The John B. Caddell tanker, pictured on November 3, 2012. Photo source: ©© Jim.henderson
On 29 October 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, highwinds and a record 13 foot storm surge caused the 184-foot tanker to break free from her moorings and run aground about a mile away onto Front Street in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, New York City. More than a month after Hurricane Sandy tossed her ashore, the John B. Caddell was lifted last week, from Front Street in Stapleton. The Caddell posed both an environmental and navigational threat to the New York waterways.


In a neighborhood of Staten Island where Hurricane Sandy flooded homes, swept boats into the streets, and caused at least two deaths, builders have already resumed construction on a series of new houses, raising concerns among residents who have long tried to halt development in the area.

Many residents fear that the ongoing development of the shorefront might make the area even more vulnerable to storms, in part by directing water away from the new properties and toward older, weaker buildings. “We used to have that land to absorb water,” Carol Zirngibl, a longtime community advocate, said in Crescent Beach on Tuesday, looking at a construction area where workers were hammering together the wooden frames of at least five homes. “We don’t have that anymore.”…

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