Ideas abound, reconstruction is rolling, and funding is flowing, although not at the same speed and strength with which Superstorm Sandy walloped New York City and the surrounding regions last fall. More than seven months later, these regions are transitioning into a middle phase between immediate-term recovery and long-term resiliency planning.
Much of the federal funding received so far has gone to reimburse agencies for reconstruction, but billions more are marked for long-term plans to harden infrastructure against future events. Those plans have yet to be solidified. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps are being revised.
Issues and lessons learned "will continue evolving over the next months as more studies come out," notes Thomas Creamer, chief of operations for the Army Corps of Engineers' New York district office. Thanks to what-if backup plans—drawn up days before Sandy hit—the Corps, working with state and city agencies, expedited recovery efforts in the aftermath of the surge that overtopped worst-case flood scenarios. Be it through money, maps or methods, infrastructure managers and builders continue efforts to minimize the impacts of future extreme weather events.