Initially jokingly referred to as a ‘Frankenstorm’, Hurricane Sandy now stands as one of the biggest storms in US history, with a death toll climbing to 39 people and infrastructure and architectural damage that has yet to be fully quantified.
With millions of New Yorkers out of power last night, the real damage is slowly coming to light, particularly in coastal areas.
As a symbol of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, architect Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 development, may have to seriously extend it development timeline. The project, slated to become New York’s tallest residential building, faces delays after the storm ripped a crane off of its 65th storey.
Areas below the building were cleared for safety reasons as the crane was left dangling. Surrounding apartments were also evacuated as a safety precaution, with evacuation measures including 900 guests at a neighbouring hotel.
Construction managers Lend Lease have assured that they have worked in conjunction with city officials to secure the site, though efforts have been hampered given weather conditions.
According to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the cause of the accident will have to be investigated given that safety precautions were put into place prior to the storm.
While images of the storm depict apocalyptic-scale damage – visions of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by crashing waves are reminiscent of doomsday movies – analysts admit the damage report, while in the range of $10-$20 billion, may not have extreme effects on the US economy.
In comparison, the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina, with its devastating death toll of 1,200, cost the US $108 billion.
Mayor Bloomberg expressed gratitude for the ‘enormous outpouring of support’ for New Yorkers today and is confident in the resilience of the city and its people even in light of the current devastation.
Recovery efforts have already begun.