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DNAinfo reports that the city will begin demolishing homes in Queens and Staten Island damaged by Sandy, although the city has not yet disclosed addresses for the homes in question. These are structures–a few dozen in total–that the Department of Buildings deemed a safety hazard and in danger of collapse. The city has started talking with building owners and in certain cases they are already making preparations for demo. According to DNAinfo, “Homeowners would still be eligible for assistance in rebuilding or relocating with the NYC Build it Back program if the city demolished their homes.”

City to Demolish Dozens of Sandy-Damaged Homes in Staten Island and Queens [DNAinfo]
Photo by katertott129

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New construction is rising in Breezy Point, the Rockaway beach community totally devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The storm left around 350 of 2,800 homes completely destroyed and the rest badly damaged. But the New York Daily News reports that construction’s started on about half a dozen new homes, with The Breezy Point Cooperative currently looking through 70 building plans from residents. (This is in contrast to the New York Times’ assertion just last week that reconstruction has started on only one home thus far.) The News profiles a family who replaced their destroyed house with a modular build on top of an eight-foot high concrete base. The modular homes take five days to build and two weeks to assemble. So far about 60 percent of the community has returned — turns out many Breezy residents faced holdups securing building permits because their houses were not on city-mapped streets.

First New Breezy Point Homes Are Starting to Rise After Superstorm Sandy [NY Daily News]
Photo by NYC Department of Transportation / Stephen Mallon

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The New York Times profiles the epic cleanup, still ongoing, required to restore Rockaway Beach after Hurricane Sandy. The City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, took on the challenge only two months after she was appointed the job — “I’ve braved the beach more in a year than I did in my whole life, 54 years, before then,” she told the Times. Just this month a dredge ship, followed by steamboats, brought giants pipes to the beach. These pipes were assembled into a three-mile straw, then “sand and water were sucked from a silted-up channel and blown onto the beaches.” The beach lost a total of 1.5 million cubic yards of sand after Sandy; the Parks Department will add 3.5 million cubic yards of sand to the tune of $37,000,000 by Memorial Day. The city is also constructing an artificial dune, a 4.7 mile long stretch of sand bags from Beach 149th Street to Beach 55th Street. And they expect to fully rebuild the boardwalk by Memorial Day.

There are still triumphs post-Sandy for the Rockaways: the Beach 30th Street playground is open, the concession stands returned, and landscaped plazas popped up. Concrete flecked with blue glass replaced some of the old boardwalk. As a resident said, “It’s normal. It’s beautiful. Because it’s normal.”

With Ships, Silt and a Giant Straw, a Beach in the Rockaways Is Reborn [NY Times]
Photo by *Bitch Cakes*