We know some people who live in a two-story house in Massapequa, here on Long Island; it was originally built in 1947 but had been renovated and expanded over the years. They are about a block and a half away from the bay to their south, another block away from a canal to the east, and two blocks from a canal to the west. Their first floor was wiped out during Hurricane Irene, a few years ago, so they had to rebuilt it. When Sandy hit Long Island, it completely destroyed their first floor again.
Now, I’m sure there are people saying, “Well, they shouldn’t build homes so close to the water,” and, of course, in a perfect world, that’s correct. But, as in many other areas, homes have long been built in locations that never suffered such catastrophic damage over the course of decades – or even hundreds of years – and it only takes one superstorm to show how vulnerable they can be.
In any case, after fourteen months, this family was finally approved for assistance and they are in the process of raising their house ten feet off the ground. Since we had been in contact with Pat, she informed us of when the work was being done so I spent two days watching – and photographing – the event.