A ferocious tropical cyclone with the benign moniker “Sandy” grew in intensity after ravaging Jamaica and Haiti in the last week of October, making landfall in the U.S. on Oct. 29 with hurricane-force winds. The epic “superstorm” paralyzed one of the wealthiest, and most densely populated corridors of the United States, with surging floodwaters swamping coastal towns and destroying boardwalks and businesses all along the eastern seaboard. Millions of residents lost power — few will forget the eerie dissonance of New York’s Lower Manhattan, the city’s financial and cultural hub, being plunged in darkness for nearly a week. In the U.S. alone, Sandy killed at least 131 people, and inflicted some $60 billion worth of damage to property, businesses and infrastructure. Recovery efforts, a month later, remain in process, with neighborhoods and towns in New York and New Jersey still in dire need of aid. Even as they rebuild, public officials throughout the region face the challenge of remaking the coastal region’s infrastructure to cope with the possibility that storms of Sandy’s magnitude could become more frequent in a changing global climate.
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