Greer Muldowney

likes photography

Rockaway Beach 2017

Five Years After Superstorm Sandy

Rockaway Beach boasts being the most urban beach community in the United States. It sits on the southern peninsula that completes the tip of Queens, New York. It is also a community that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, taking out over 1000 structures by a 10-foot storm surge that flooded the area. Residents that did not lose their homes were left without power for months, severe mold complications, and an inadequate FEMA response. It has taken years for resiliency plans to take effect to promote long term protective measures. However, the beach was rebuilt in 2014, and slowly the community has recovered, though many could never return to their homes.

On the 5th anniversary of the storm, I was asked to explore the area for Rockaway Summer, a now defunct arts organization and publication. During the offseason, I was asked to show the unique landscape of the community, its perseverance and its legacy as a beach community on the brink of celebrating another warm season, and therefore hurricane season to come.