Stephen Crivillaro is a native New Yorker who was among the first to swing into action after Superstorm Sandy devastated much of his hometown, as well as the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, in the fall of 2012.
He recalls how badly New York was affected by the late-season hurricane, which began in Jamaica before working its way up the Atlantic toward New Jersey and New York. The costs of the storm have been estimated as high as fifty billion dollars, says Stephen Crivillaro. More than one hundred homes were destroyed in the Breezy Point area of Queens, when the storm touched off an overnight fire. Thousands of flights were cancelled at the three main airports serving New York, which were closed for two days.
Superstorm Sandy produced a record storm surge of water in New York, as Stephen Crivillaro remembers all too well. The surge surpassed 13.8 feet in Battery Park, more than four feet higher than the previous record water level caused by Hurricane Donna in 1960. New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials says the Sandy caused the worst damage in the 108 year history of the city's subway system. Flood waters also damaged the city's electrical systems, including the one that powers Wall Street. Millions of people were left without power.
The storm even had an impact on the 2008 presidential campaign. President Barack Obama joined New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to inspect the storm's impact and declared states of emergency in New York and New Jersey, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney cancelled his own political rallies and turned one appearance into a "storm relief" fundraising event.
All told, 285 people lost their lives to Superstorm Sandy, including 125 people in the United States.