Christie Signs Order to Speed Sandy Recovery

The Star-Ledger reports: “Calling Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes that have not yet been torn down an “ongoing emergency,” Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order aimed at speeding up the process of razing unsafe properties. … The order gives the Community Affairs commissioner the authority to “commandeer Sandy-impacted eligible structures,” as well as take possession of rights of way on any property needed to facilitate demolition. According to the governor’s office, state code enforcement officials have been surveying private properties to identify homes that need to be razed. Property owners will be notified when that determination is made and then will have the opportunity to challenge it.” The demolition program will be focused in Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.


“Stronger Than the Storm” Basically a Massive Fail

According to a bunch of tourism industry poobahs testifying in front of a New Jersey state assembly committee, Chris Christie’s much-ballyhooed “Stronger than the Storm” campaign didn’t really help the Shore rebound in time for summer. The main issue, they said, was that the $25 million campaign launched in May, too late for most summer visitors to be convinced to make bookings.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Sandy Recovery in One Big Chart

The folks at—a home renovation website—have compiled this chart of information about the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. “We compiled data to highlight the aftermath’s effects on home repairs and insurance payouts a year after Sandy made landfall. With statistics on over 90 million home repair and improvement projects, Porch analysts hammered out data on preventative and reactive measures that were enacted after Hurricane Sandy’s landfall. Following the storm, an estimated 651,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged in the massive storm – 340,000 in New Jersey and 305,000 in the greater New York City area – with 22,000 housing units completely uninhabitable.”

That’s just the beginning. Check the chart after the jump:

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Morning Headlines: Forward-Thinking Designs Emerge From Ruin of Hurricane Sandy

post sandy lifeguard station

Rendering of a post-Sandy lifeguard station via Curbed National.

Five Design Innovations Sparked by Hurricane Sandy [Curbed National]
New trail connects Philly with wider East Coast network [Newsworks]
Land bank plan faces curve balls at Council hearing [City Paper/Naked City]
Fla. firm buys part of Bally’s AC casino[Daily News]
Paul Levy recalls the vision for mixed use, city marketing []

Sandy: One Year Later

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - JAN 13: The Casino Pier Star Jet roller coaster submerged in the sea on January 13, 2013 in Seaside Heights, NJ. Clean up continues 75 days after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012.

Star Jet roller coaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Photo |

October 21st, 2012, was one of those impossibly gorgeous Jersey Shore days, where even though the thermometer said the temperature was in the 60s, the sun was so strong and warm that I stripped down to my tank top while watching the Atlantic City Marathon.

Later, when I was having drinks on the lawn of Congress Hall after their TEDx Cape May Conference, the talk wasn’t just of the beautiful weather that day, but of a maybe storm. I say “maybe” for a reason. These were lifetime shore residents, old salts really, who were used to this: The alarm would sound about a storm because forecasters showed it hitting New Jersey in one of a dozen possible storm paths. And then it would slam into Florida, turn out to sea, or just fizzle out.

Not this time.

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PHOTO: World’s Biggest Sand Castle

Above is a photo of what is being called the world’s tallest sandcastle, in Point Pleasant Beach, on the Shore. According to the sandcastle’s site–yes, the sandcastle has its own website–Guinness World Records will certify the castle as the tallest ever on Tuesday, October 29th, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

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One Year After Sandy, Shore Still Recovering


The approaching anniversary of Hurricane Sandy—the second costliest storm in U.S. history after Katrina—prompted the Courier-Post to examine how residents are faring after the torrential rains were to have been replaced by a downpour of government aid and insurance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both parties—that is, a federal emergency assistance program that earned a less-than-sterling reputation of its handling in New Orleans, and an industry that tends to find itself low on the totem of American affection—haven’t been particularly swift at reconstruction:

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