Far Rockaway, NY is set to receive federal funds to fix the boardwalk. Long after Hurricane Sandy ravished the shore of this beach community, the government has come in to help, providing much needed additional aid to replace the boardwalks that were washed away in Hurricane Sandy. Representative Charles “Chuck” Schumer, who championed for funds from the start, announced that close to $500 million in FEMA funding is heading to the South Shore community. A few more yards of red tape in the form of approvals from city and state officials are not expected to hold up the rebuilding project, slated to be complete in about two-year. Sections of the beach will remain open during the repair project.
More than one million square feet of boardwalk were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York in 2012. Stirred up by a tropical wave that started in the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Sandy precipitously made its way up the coast. What started as wave turned into a hurricane once it hit the tropical island of Jamaica. Ultimately, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean made its way up to New York, bashing into the boardwalk along the shore, which allowed water to enter the nearby peninsula. This overrun of water, along with Category 2-type winds spanning more than 1,100 miles, devastated the area and is held as the second most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.
New Yorkers had not seen anything like “Superstorm Sandy” It was the largest Atlantic coastal storm on record, causing close to $70 billion dollars worth of damage. Two hundred and thirty-three people died as a result of the storm and it caused slightly less damage than did Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
Far Rockaway residents were distressed to see the beachside community of Neponsit quickly patched up and returned to life-as-usual while they languished. In fact, some residents of neighboring Belle Harbor received a letter from FEMA requesting they pay back federal funds received during the storm. Representative Charles Schumer lobbied for them, and they were able to keep that much-needed money. Now FEMA will ensure that Far Rockaway, as well as sections of Howard Beach and Broad Channel catches up with the rest of the Rockaways; they will spend $200 million to elevate the boardwalk, while installing a sand barrier to keep the ocean out. More than $260 million is slotted for the electrical infrastructure, as well as a new concrete boardwalk, showers and benches. The boardwalk walkway will also be constructed of concrete. These improvements will help forestall any other tropical storm that may hammer down upon the Rockaways.
Far Rockaway received federal funds for the boardwalk, but Hollywood celebrities also did their part to help. Directly following their posh wedding in Italy, singer Justin Timberlake and his wife Jessica Biel quietly handed out aid to Far Rockaway residents. Additionally, the New York-based humanitarian aid group, Robin Hood, made sure that Far Rockaway residents receive federal funding in the form of relief grants in excess of $20 million. Thirty percent of the funds went to housing assistance, helping remove mold from homes and rental assistance.
By Danielle Branch
Photo by Nick Normal- License
Photo by Alan – License