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10 years after Sandy, AP looks ahead to the next superstorm

A boat enters the Manasquan Inlet in Manasquan, N.J., Oct. 20, 2022. One proposed solution to flooding in the region is a $16 billion plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address back-bay flooding along the Jersey Shore — a major source of damage during Superstorm Sandy that was overshadowed by oceanfront flooding. It would build storm surge gates across the mouths of major inlets, like Manasquan, and install similar gates in the middle of bays to stop waves from surging across the waterway into homes. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)

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The Associated Press has consistently led the way on coverage of Superstorm Sandy and its lingering effects on the northeastern U.S., as well as on other vulnerable U.S. locations.

For the 10th anniversary of the Oct. 29, 2012, storm, Atlantic City, New Jersey, correspondent Wayne Parry and New York reporter Bobby Caina Calvan didn’t do a standard retrospective, instead taking an enterprising look at the recovery and preparations for the next superstorm.

Parry examined how much remains to be done to make the region and the nation better prepared for the next major storm, including inland areas now becoming more vulnerable as sea levels rise and severe storms become more common.

Parry has covered Sandy and its aftermath since the day of the storm; he included numerous interviews with storm victims not only from New Jersey and New York,but from other major storms in Texas,Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico. His reporting on survivors’ post-storm experiences showed that the nation’s disaster response system is broken and needs reform to get money into victims’ hands more quickly, with less red tape.

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Luis Lopez of New York City, left, and Millie Santiago of Canóvanas, Puerto Rico, describe conditions in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017, during an event in Middletown N.J., Oct. 29, 2022, marking the 10th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. It featured a group of storm survivors from around the country who called for changes in the nation’s disaster response system to make them the system more responsive to victims. – AP Photo / Wayne Parry

Calvan,meanwhile,took an in-depth look at the distribution of post-storm aid and resources, and the inequity of that aid between more affluent communities and poorer ones.

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In photo at left, on Oct. 20, 2022, an abandoned truck and boat sit in an overgrown lot in the Edgemere neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York, damaged by Superstorm Sandy 10 years earlier. At right, children play in a skatepark along the beachfront west of the Edgemere neighborhood on Oct. 20, 2022. Edgemere’s story is one that has played out in other U.S. cities after major natural disasters. The billions of dollars in recovery money that come pouring in often come last, and have their weakest impact, in communities of color. – AP Photos / John Minchillo

The package featured the photography of New York staffers John Minchillo,Julia Nikhinson,Seth Wenig and Mary Altaffer,and video by Ted Shaffrey. Digital media producer Samantha Shotzbarger wove the presentations together, earning play among East Coast news outlets and beyond.

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