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Editorial: One year removed from Sandy

For those of us who live in Franklin County, it may be hard to remember that it was only a one year ago that the “Superstorm Sandy” was battering New York City, nearby communities and the New Jersey shoreline.

Those away from the storm’s immediate impact aren’t routinely exposed to reminders of its power.

But there are plenty of Americans who need no prompting on the storm’s devastation. Thousands of men, women and children continue to pick up the pieces in an effort to put their lives back together.

The data provides a skeletal framework of what the storm did: More than 175 people lost their lives because of storm here in the United States as well as in the Caribbean. Billions of dollars in damages, including some 366,000 structures in New York and New Jersey, were the result of Sandy’s visit. We can think of the flooding in the subways or loss of power for millions that went on for days.

It is the individual stories, though, that flesh out the impact and the lingering issues that face so many people.

It’s people wrangling with insurance companies and banks over money to rebuild or move on. Or it’s facing a slew of planning and zoning changes that allow them to comply with new regulations, from setbacks to elevation requirements, that state and local governments came up with as a result of the storm and its destruction.

And all the while, as homes or businesses move from architectural designs through the regulatory process and then construction, people are left in flux, watching time and money go by as they look to bring a conclusion to this terrible chapter in their lives.

But these folks who have gone through so much do persevere.

As President Barack Obama said in a statement Tuesday, “Today, we remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives to that storm, and we comfort the families who grieve them still. And while there are still homes to rebuild and businesses to reopen, the last year has also served as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the American people.”

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