Six months after Sandy: ‘Home sweet home’ for some, others still adrift

(Photo: John Makely / NBC News)

BREEZY POINT, N.Y. — The construction noises are almost constant at daytime in this coastal enclave six months after Hurricane Sandy, but for many residents whose homes were badly damaged, recovery is moving at a slow pace – or not at all.

Read the complete story and explore our photo interactive: Breezy Point then and now.

FEMA leaves many Sandy victims languishing

(Photo: David Friedman / NBC News file)

BREEZY POINT, N.Y. — A first-of-its-kind home repair program pioneered by the federal government and local agencies has made thousands of New York City homes livable since Hurricane Sandy, but thousands of other homeowners are still waiting for help, and growing more frustrated with each passing day.

Sandy-struck Breezy Point facing ‘greatest historical challenge’

(Photo: John Makely / NBC News)

BREEZY POINT, N.Y. — This private community, which has fended off previous existential threats, is now facing its “greatest historical challenge” as a result of Superstorm Sandy,  with some residents questioning whether they can afford to rebuild and others wondering if the resurrected beachside community will bear any resemblance to its bucolic former self.

A halting first step on what figures to be a long road back took place Thursday evening, when the Breezy Point Cooperative Inc. Board held its first post-Sandy shareholders meeting at a Catholic high school in Brooklyn.

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After Sandy’s deluge, mold and dust are the threats

(Photo: John Makely / NBC News)

From his perch on top of his father’s house in Breezy Point, N.Y., Ken Court can see an array of health disasters in the making.

“There are asbestos roofs that have collapsed near the ocean,” says Court, a 52-year-old roofer. “There is a lot of dust. You see people walking around with masks on. You use the hand cleaners all day long.”

Love among the ruins: Sandy decimates community, but wedding goes on

(Photo: John Makely / NBC News)

The wedding had been two years in the making: The church was booked, the custom fuchsia and blue Converse sneakers for the bridesmaids were ordered, and the firehouse was secured as a staging ground for the groomsmen.

But then Superstorm Sandy struck, flooding the firehouse, forcing the church to turn into a command center, and scattering the guests and the newlyweds-to-be, as well as the custom Converse, less than a month before the big day: Friday, Nov. 23.

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Sandy victims on the move, but temporary housing ‘will never be … home’

(Photo: John Makely / NBC News)

 Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy forced Geraldine Duke and her sister, Theresa Nugent, out of their homes with four pets and just a few possessions, they have moved out of the airport motel room where they spent several weeks and into a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

But their hearts are still in the rubble that is their longtime neighborhood in Breezy Point.

“This is my home. That’s never going to be my home. Ever,” Duke, 46, said Sunday of the Brooklyn apartment, as she tried to clear a path through the debris clogging the Asian-themed garden outside of her sister’s Breezy Point bungalow.

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Parting with life’s props: A tough clean-up begins in Breezy Point

(Photo: David Friedman / NBC News)

The Allens hauled out the fridge, board games and the many other everyday objects that were the props of their lives on Thetford Avenue before Superstorm Sandy flooded their bungalow and turned their world upside down.

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Sandy’s destruction in Breezy Point, N.Y.

(Photos: Dwaine Scott / NBC News)


Off-duty firefighter rescued 9 people, a parrot and a few dogs in Hurricane Sandy

(Photo: Miranda Leitsinger / NBC News)

BREEZY POINT, N.Y. — A raging fire was creeping closer and closer to Joe Adinolfi’s home when he decided to get out.

He packed his phone and wallet into a life vest, since there was also about 5 feet of standing water outside his home due to Hurricane Sandy, and thought he would try to reach a refuge within his tiny seaside community of Breezy Point on the southwest corner of Long Island. 

But then he heard a cry for help from the parking lot in front of his home.

Panoramic view of Breezy Point destruction after Hurricane Sandy fire and flood

(Photo: David Friedman / NBC News)

More than 100 homes in Breezy Point lie in ruin following a blaze during Hurricane Sandy.

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Wind, flames, Our Fathers: The inside story of Breezy Point’s terrible night

(Photo: David Friedman / NBC News)

BREEZY POINT, N.Y. —  As Hurricane Sandy turned the streets of this community into raging rivers on Monday evening, one company of volunteer firefighters ditched their rescue boats and sought refuge in the community center. Inside they found another bunch of volunteer firefighters, also stranded by rising water, who asked, “Are you here to rescue us?”

That was shortly before 70-mph winds blew embers the size of baseballs through the heart of this close-knit community on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York City’s Queens borough.

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