New Yorkers are returning to their city to see the incredible damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Fires, floods and debris have enacted quite a toll on the country's largest metropolis, but the city is showing its resilience. Still, for many, getting back to business means more than waiting through colossal traffic jams on the city's major highways. Eighteen New Yorkers were killed by the storm, and countless others have lost their cars and homes.
The worst of Hurricane Sandy has moved on from New York City, and now the city faces the enormous task of recovering from the damage. Eighteen fatalities were reported, the enitre subway system is still down, much of it flooded, LaGuardia airport is closed and JFK airport is offering only limited service. Forced to take cars and taxis, the streets are jammed, and the roads leading back into the city have seen traffic that make any rush hour look tame. Many neighborhoods sustained enormous damage, none more than Breezy Point in Queens, where a fire spread from house to house, reducing 111 homes to ash, with 20 more badly damaged. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in the midst of it all, sounded this note of hope:
"New Yorkers will get through this by standing together as we always do. We will get the city we love back on its feet."
Slowly, this is beginning to happen. New York governor Andrew Cuomo reported that three of the seven tunnels flooded by the storm have been cleared, and that over half of the city's subway lines will resume partial service tomorrow. One by one, cars are crawling back in (through traffic that makes any rush hour look tame) and people are returning to work. The New York Stock Exchange has reopened, after closing two days for weather, the first such closure in over a century.
Still, this will take more than clearing debris and draining tunnels. Hundreds of homes are damaged or destroyed, cars have been smashed by falling trees and many buildings remain partially underwater. As New York reemerges from the storm, it finds itself in some ways changed forever. Golf writer Matt Ginella spoke for many New Yorkers with this tweet on returning home: