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Visiting Staten Island A Year After Sandy

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One of the communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy was Staten Island, the New York City borough of just under half a million people.

According to reports, 16 percent of the borough was flooded, and more than 75,000 residents were affected.

A year after Superstorm Sandy, families living in Staten Island are still struggling.

Despite money from FEMA, insurance policies and family savings, some residents haven’t yet rebuilt their homes. Others can’t meet new requirements for raising houses above flood level and buying flood insurance.

New York is offering buyouts to the largely middle class and blue collar families on Staten Island, to turn the coastal land back into marshland. Entire neighborhoods are opting for the buyout, but some residents worry that the money won’t be enough for them to relocate.

Others are suspicious. They think the land will be turned over to developers who can afford the new regulations.

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited Staten Island recently, and reports on the palpable sense of fear, but also the fighting spirit, of Staten Islanders.

She visited one street in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood with former Golden Glove fighter and ESPN boxing commentator Teddy Atlas, who lives on Staten Island. His nonprofit, the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation, helps struggling families.

Guests

  • Teddy Atlas, founder of the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation in Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Sharon Curry, executive director of the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation.
  • Mary Roberts, a 90-year-old Staten Island resident affected by the Hurricane Sandy.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A recently rebuilt home in Staten Island. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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A recently rebuilt home in Staten Island. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

A beach on Staten Island with a view of Liberty Island in the distance. (Sharon Curry)
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A beach on Staten Island with a view of Liberty Island in the distance. (Sharon Curry)

A house is constructed on stilts near the shore on Staten Island (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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A house is constructed on stilts near the shore on Staten Island (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Staten Island prepares for Halloween. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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Staten Island prepares for Halloween. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

A house in Staten Island under construction. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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A house in Staten Island under construction. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Teddy Atlas, the founder of the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation. (Sharon Curry)
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Teddy Atlas, the founder of the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation. (Sharon Curry)

A porch in Staten Island with ruined items still piled high. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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A porch in Staten Island with ruined items still piled high. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Eddie's bungalow with a new roof from the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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Eddie's bungalow with a new roof from the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Teddy and Sharon confer. (Robin Young/Here & Now)
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Teddy and Sharon confer. (Robin Young/Here & Now)