When it comes to preparing for the effects of another storm like Sandy, the city has something of a blueprint: A book outlining ways to make the city more resistant to rising sea levels and harsher weather. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
In the Rockaways, dunes guard the waterfront. They're meant to deflect ocean waves before they can level homes once again. The project is one of more than 200 outlined in a 438-page book. Few may know about it, but almost every New Yorker will be affected by the new city it envisions.
"The city is important and it faces a singular challenge in climate change," said former Bloomberg Advisor Seth Pinsky.
Pinsky led the team that for five months researched and wrote the book in a Lower Manhattan conference room.
"It was a lot of people cramped into very little space, working very long hours. But the level of dedication was really phenomenal," Pinsky recalled.
Theirs was an urgent mission: Quickly figure out how to prevent another disaster like the one that had just killed 44 New Yorkers.
"By the 2050s, we can see sea level rise by as much as two and a half feet. That's on top of the foot that we've already seen since 1900," said Bloomberg Advisor Dan Zarrilli.
The result: Mutlicolor pinpoints are major pieces. A storm surge barrier at Newtown Creek separating Brooklyn and Queens; removable barriers in Lower Manhattan; a new neighborhood south of the South Street Seaport to deflect river water.
Mayor Bloomberg unveiled it June 11th at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the site of World War II battleship building.
"This is urgent work, and it must begin now," Bloomberg said.
Some is being done. Not just dunes, or beaches widened with dredged sand but on the other side of the Rockaway Peninsula, in new bulkheads dipping into Jamaica Bay.
Bigger, costlier projects fall to future administrations. They'll have to continue funding projects, likely without enough support from Washington and possibly without the urgency that Sandy unleashed.
Bloomberg aides who wrote the big blue book are marking Sandy's anniversary with a hope their work isn't forgotten.
"You can never replace the people who were lost during Sandy, and the only thing that you can do is to try to give at least some meaning to the sacrifices that they made," Pinsky said.