31 photos that show the destruction of Hurricane Sandy 5 years ago

A woman in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island, weeps after learning that her neighbor is OK.

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A woman in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island, weeps after learning that her neighbor is OK.
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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Five years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast with a record-setting 14-foot surge.

Winds gusted up to 80 mph, and tides were especially high due to the full moon. It wreaked havoc on the shores of the Northeast, killing at least 100 people.

When Sandy made landfall in Atlantic City on the night of October 29, 2012, the streets were flooded, power lines and trees were knocked down, and the city’s iconic boardwalk was destroyed.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a weeklong commemoration this Monday, along with the news that the three most affected counties are now financially “fully recovered.”

Christie also noted that the news “doesn’t mean that every family is back in their home … we’re now at about 1,000 homes that are still left.” Local grassroots organizations are disputing Christie’s numbers, claiming that it’s closer to 2,300 homes.

Here, on the fifth anniversary, we take a look back at the destruction the dangerous storm caused on the coasts of New York and New Jersey.


Thousands of New Jersey residents were asked to evacuate their homes, and casinos were closed in Atlantic City. In this now iconic scene, a roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has gone underwater.

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ERIC THAYER/Reuters

By October 28, President Obama had officially declared a state of emergency for New Jersey. Here’s the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, which was also severely damaged.

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ERIC THAYER/Reuters

After the storm, the ground was completely ripped up in Ortley Beach, New Jersey.

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Handout/Reuters

Here, you’ll see more damage in Ortley Beach.

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ERIC THAYER/Reuters

Over in the New Jersey town of Mantoloking, a woman works to remove sand from her parents’ house.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A water slide hangs over the end of an amusement park’s pier in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

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Steve Nesius/Reuters

Boats that have washed ashore are seen piled next to a house near Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.

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Steve Nesius/Reuters

In Hoboken, New Jersey, people try to open their garage despite the floodwaters.

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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

President Obama hugs the owner of the North Point Marina as he tours damaged areas in Brigantine, New Jersey.

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Larry Downing/Reuters

An inlet that was created by the storm connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Jones Tide Pond, just north of where Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Ocean County, New Jersey.

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Handout/Reuters

Houses are surrounded by sand near Ortley Beach, New Jersey, almost a month after the area was hit by Hurricane Sandy.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

The storm received the nickname “Frankenstorm,” and many media outlets referred to it as “Superstorm Sandy.” Staten Island, pictured here, also suffered horrible damage — some of the worst anywhere.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

On the south side of Staten Island, a young boy and his mother search through piles of clothes donated to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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Mike Segar/Reuters

A house in Staten Island was pushed into marshland by the storm.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

On the south coast of Long Island, some playgrounds were drowned underwater. This one was in Bellport, New York.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Also in Bellport, forces from the hurricane push water into the window of a building.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A man pauses to catch his breath as he walks up a darkened stairwell to his 15th floor apartment in Queens. His building lost power as a result of the storm.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A woman helps sort through the remains of her father’s house, which burned to the ground during Hurricane Sandy, in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens.

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Andrew Burton/Reuters

An insurance claims adjuster scales the entrance to a house in Breezy Point.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

US Army soldiers clear debris from Breezy Point.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

An aerial view of the burnt houses, surrounded by houses that survived, in Breezy Point.

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Handout/Reuters

Here’s a closer view of the burnt houses.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

A third aerial view of the destruction in Breezy Point.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

An automobile is seen parked among homes, all damaged by a fire and the effects of Sandy, in the Belle Harbor section of Queens.

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Local contractors work to clean sand out of a pool in the Rockaways.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire on a flooded street in the Rockaways section of Queens.

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Keith Bedford/Reuters

Residents look over the remains of burned homes in the Rockaways.

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Keith Bedford/Reuters

Over in Belle Harbor, Brooklyn, an NYPD officer jumps over a split in the boardwalk.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A gas station submerged in floodwaters near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

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Keith Bedford/Reuters

Down in Lower Manhattan, residents stand over vehicles that have been submerged in a parking structure.

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Adrees Latif/Reuters

Sandy’s strength and angle of approach combined to produce a record storm surge of water into New York City, New Jersey, and other parts of the Northeast. Progress has been made, but many will never fully recover all that was lost or damaged.

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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters