October marks five years since Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, devastated the Rockaways. On October 29, the storm surge flooded streets and homes, knocked out power and crippled mass transit.
Rebuilding still continues five years later, but Rockaway is showing real signs of recovery. One of the most tangible is the reopening of the entire 5.5-mile boardwalk from Beach 9th to Beach 126th streets, which occurred over Memorial Day weekend.
That same month, the city launched ferry service to the peninsula, which has not only added another way for commuters to reach Manhattan, but also brought beachgoers to the restaurants and businesses every weekend all summer long.
And just last month, the City Council approved a $288 million rezoning proposal for Far Rockaway aimed at revitalizing the downtown area as a commercial hub. “This roadmap to action ensures that the people who have remained in the community during the toughest times will share in the prosperity of this plan,” said Councilman Donovan Richards.