Thousands of homes in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are still scarred by the high winds and floods brought by Hurricane Sandy, which tore through the area more than one year ago, according to a new report by Enterprise Community Partners.
Hurricane Sandy, which struck land Oct. 29, 2013, was the deadliest and largest Atlantic hurricane in 2013 and the second costliest in U.S. history.
The cost continues to grow. “The amount of resources it will take to repair the damage will scale proportionately with the number of households impacted and the severity of the damage,” says Zachary Patton, data analyst for Enterprise.
Of the households living in buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy, 39 percent report the damage had not been fully repaired one year later. That’s not unusual, according to Patton. Giant storms often leave severe damage to buildings and infrastructure that takes years to fix.
Hurricane Sandy is unique because it carved its way through one of the most densely populated regions of the country. There are 7.2 million households in the New York metropolitan statistical area alone. More than one in every six households in the Tri-State area, or 17 percent, say their homes were damaged by the storm, according to Enterprise.
About half of the households in the area with damaged homes report roof trouble. Other lingering problems include siding damage (29 percent), flooding damage (20 percent), and downed gutters (19 percent). Broken windows, damaged furnaces and electrical systems, mold, and broken elevators also make the list.
Of the respondents who still live with this damage, more than half have more than one kind of damage.
The problems are more intense for people with fewer resources —50 percent of low-income households and 50 percent of renters say that hurricane damage to the buildings they live in has not been repaired. People with lower incomes and less control over the places where they live are less able to spend their way out of the problems left behind by the hurricane. Almost a third—32 percent—of renters in damaged buildings say they wanted to move after the storm but were forced to remain because of their lease agreement.
The storm also damaged the health of 8 percent of the households surveyed. Of those, 39 percent still suffer from their health problems a year after the storm.
Others lost jobs: 8 percent of the households experienced job or income loss as a result of the storm. About half of those people say their troubles included difficulty getting to and from their places of work in the days and weeks after the storm.
Mental health suffered, too: 14 percent of households report problems including anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. About a third still suffered from their symptoms a year later.
Enterprise gathered the data for its report through a needs assessment survey that it conducted in October 2013 with YouGov, a national polling firm, through an online survey of 2,210 respondents.