New York

Sandy, 10 Years Later: The Remarkable Recovery of South Street Seaport

New YorkSouth Street Seaport hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

Water levels reached 6 feet and damaged the historic neighborhood.

CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke with business owners during their second anniversary in 2014. On Wednesday, she got an update on how the situation has changed.

A plaque marking the height of the water rose serves as a reminder of Sandy. Not that Marco Pasanella needs it. He saw a storm surge hit his wine shop.

“It literally took a few minutes. We started over the sandbags, came to the side of the wall and bolted it down,” Pasanella said.

10,000 bottles of wine gone, not to mention obvious damage.

read more: City leaders have launched a new initiative designed to better protect Manhattan from storm surges

Barbalu around the corner took almost a year to get back up and running.

“There was also gasoline and other things in the water,” said owner Stefano Barbagalo.

These two businesses survived despite neighborhood storefront changes, and worse, some were still empty.

“The bike rental place didn’t come back. The business next to it, which I don’t even remember, didn’t come back,” Pasanella said.

CBS2 looks back at the post-Sandy reconstruction of the South Street Seaport.


A lot has changed in the decade since the South Street Seaport storm.

Saul Schaar, Howard Hughes Corporation Tri-State Region President, said:

It has been planned for some time, but the blueprints have undergone significant changes.

“Sandy really made us realize that we need to tear down the pilings, tear down the piers and rebuild on top of the 100-year flood zone,” said Shahr.

Tin buildings are designed to be flooded.

“That level flooded and we have drainage to pump the water back,” Scherl said.

The Pier 17 is also designed to be watertight.

“If you see a storm coming, lock the hydraulic doors and know your equipment is safe,” Scherl said.

read more: Sandy, 10 years later: CBS2 visits once-destroyed sections of Lindenhurst and Freeport

The mechanical systems of buildings like Pasanella have been moved above the waterline.

Capt. John Ballware, President and CEO of South Street Seaport Museum, said:

Bourware said some temporary measures have been taken to prevent flooding, but permanent solutions are needed.

“Beneath the surface of the street here is the porosity that is found in subway tunnels…so I don’t think it’s true that the idea that just building walls on the surface can protect the basement before the street gets wet. was flooded,” Ballware said.

read more: ‘Yeah, we got wrecked, but we’re here today’: Long Beach resident recalls surviving superstorm Sandy 10 years later

The port, its residents and businesses have come a long way since Sandy, not to mention the setback of COVID.

As another reminder, Pasanella, who still keeps Sandy’s rain boots in the back room, reflects on this weekend’s South Street Seaport comeback and may raise a glass of wine called “Flood.”

The museum was hosting a panel discussion on preparedness and solutions for future natural disasters at Pier 17 on Wednesday. Sandy, 10 Years Later: The Remarkable Recovery of South Street Seaport

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