On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York. Five years later, advocacy groups and residents assembled to voice objections to how elected officials have responded to both the storm and the looming threat of climate change. On Saturday, hundreds representing organizations from around the country marched from downtown Brooklyn to Manhattan, in a protest called Sandy 5.
New York City has spent billions rebuilding since Sandy hit, including $13 billion from a federal relief bill. However, that may not be enough; this month, a Rutgers University study projected that the city may face major flooding events as frequently as every five years.
The Sandy 5 protest went over the Brooklyn Bridge, and ended at the Alfred E. Smith Houses. The New York City Housing Authority, which oversees the buildings, was granted $3 billion after the storm to repair and flood-proof 33 damaged developments. According to the New York Daily News, the only renovation to have been completed is Lower East Side Rehab, one of the smallest NYCHA developments, with only two six-story buildings.
Also, the city is rolling back certain flood prevention promises. Construction of the “Big U,” a planned combination of open space and flood barriers around Lower Manhattan, has been delayed from 2017 to 2019. “The ‘Big U’ might actually be just half a ‘J,’” said City Councilman Mark Treyger, the chairman of the City Council’s recovery and resiliency committee.
Watch our video, above, to hear voices from Saturday’s march.