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NY1 News looks back on 2013 with our annual Year In Review series of reports.

2013 Sandy Year In Review: Survivors Struggle To Rebuild As City Looks At Prevention

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TWC News: 2013 Sandy Year In Review: Survivors Struggle To Rebuild As City Looks At Prevention
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The storm that came towards the end of 2012 left devastation well into 2013. During the past year, officials also wrestled with how to prevent a repeat of the disaster that was Hurricane Sandy. It is a decision that will last far into the future. NY1 Political Reporter Josh Robin filed the following report.

The new year dawned with growing frustration and seemingly endless mold.

"It's ridiculous that we are left in the cold,” said one Sandy victim.

Last winter, people shivering in Sandy's wake could make of list of their disappointments.

Congress was surely on it. Relief didn't come for months.

"Our response has been characterized by delay, obstruction, postponement, obfuscation,”said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

President Obama signed a bill in late January.

At $50 billion, it was less than the city wanted for the nation's second worst hurricane, a storm that stayed long after the clouds parted and was the source of countless phone calls, headaches and heartaches.

It was overwhelming for some.

When Governor Andrew Cuomo offered state buyouts to turn properties into parkland, some on Staten Island tearfully said yes.

“This was my heaven. My oasis,” DeBiaso said.

And now?

“It's my heartbreak, not because of the house, but because my whole life changed,” she said.

There were bright spots, the Statue of Liberty reopened on Independence Day, Ellis Island in October.

But word came the Rockaway Boardwalk may not be fully rebuilt until the winter of 2017.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, tried making people's homes stronger to weather through Build-it-Back.

"And I strongly urge all New Yorkers who own or live in homes that Sandy damaged to sign up for this program starting today," Bloomberg said.

Tens of thousands did, but as of the hurricane's year anniversary, only about half have had initial meetings.

Officials say among other things, federal rules are keeping things slow. They say construction on many homes should begin before June.

New flood maps show more New Yorkers could need to raise their houses, if only to avoid higher insurance premiums.

On a bigger scale, a NY1 series showed what the Netherlands is doing to guard against climate change.

To do just that in the city, Mayor Bloomberg presented a $20 billion plan, with storm surge barriers and a new water-resistant neighborhood.

As 2013 ends, the new mayor says he will use the proposal as the basis for the continued fight against rising tides.

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