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Sandy One Year Later: City Officials Tout Post-Storm Progress, Acknowledge Hiccups

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TWC News: Sandy One Year Later: City Officials Tout Post-Storm Progress, Acknowledge Hiccups
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Since Hurricane Sandy, city officials have assessed everything that went wrong or right, and on Tuesday they offered a glimpse of what they have found. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

Safer than a year ago, not as safe as can be. That's officials' assessment a year after the storm that killed 44 New Yorkers.

"We're not all the way there yet by any means, but we're making progress," said Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.

The deputy mayor was speaking about protecting the electrical grid. It summarizes other areas too.

In case of another storm, emergency supplies are stockpiled and 600,000 more cubic yards of sand is now on beaches -- more is coming to turn back deadly sea surge. There are close to 25,000 homeowners who are looking to have their properties rebuilt or renovated.

They acknowledge it hasn't been perfect. Some think home rebuilding is taking too long.

"First and foremost, we're sorry that it's not finished yet. Two, please be patient and if there's that anything we need from you try to help us get it. And have confidence. I think it is fair to say that with every program that we have set up we have always delivered," Holloway noted.

And while others may differ, officials say they have been listening.

"What we really wanted to put in place was a system where we were hearing as much as possible - and I think we got that," said Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs.

There is some blame for Washington. It's not sending promised money as fast as it could. New York could expect billions more. The recent shutdown isn't really the culprit. But a separate bill passed in Washington could yet upend lives to the same people socked in last year's storm. Flood insurance costs could balloon and redrawn maps have more New Yorkers living in flood zones -- 800,000 by 2050, according to an estimate.

In under two and a half months, the responsibility for future storms falls to a new mayor. There's no guarantee whoever that person is will follow Bloomberg's plans. But under a bill the City Council recently passed, a new office will focus on the potential effects of climate change.

That office would lead massive projects to retrofit coastlines for climate change. Those years off from being done even as the oceans continue to rise.

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