A monster storm flooded parts of the biggest city in America this week. Millions of people are still without power.
But in the long run — even in the medium run — New York (and New Jersey!) will recover. And for the U.S. economy as a whole, this disaster will barely be a blip.
This is largely because there are countless backup plans hiding everywhere in our economy. On today's show, a flooded grocery store reveals safety nets that are usually hidden but, at moments like these, are suddenly made visible.
Barbara Fleming is evacuated from Bellevue Hospital by Victor Rivera in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York on Oct. 31.
Credit Carlo Allegri / Reuters/Landov
One lasting image of Superstorm Sandy will be very sick patients being evacuated from flooded hospitals. But less visible are thousands of patients who rely on visiting nurses and home health aides for care ranging from bathing and feeding to oxygen and ventilators.
Much of the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy happened in New York's less touristy outer boroughs.
Some neighborhoods have been changed forever by the storm. Staten Island saw half of the city's fatalities. On Friday, residents sorted through waterlogged belongings and tried to figure out next steps.
Rosemarie Caruso lives a block from the water on the eastern shore of Staten Island. She says there have been hurricanes before and all they brought was a little flooding. She figured she could ride out Sandy.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:46 pm
Evangean Pugh, far right, talks on a phone as she waits in line to apply for recovery assistance at a FEMA processing center in Coney Island, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Credit Bebeto Matthews / AP
NPR's Zoe Chace made her way to Coney Island in Brooklyn this afternoon. There she found residents making line at a FEMA processing center.
Zoe spoke to DeQuan Franklin and Roberta Johnson, who wanted to apply for emergency relief. They said in all their time living in New York they've never seen anything like this. Franklin says he's had to walk 20 minutes to find an open store. He said she had to walk almost 70 blocks to find a laundromat.
"The neighborhood doesn't look nothing like it did a few days ago," DeQuan said.