Long Beach, NY, is found on Long Island’s South Shore which is Nassau County. Long Beach is part of a barrier island that is shared with additional towns. To the west of the barrier island is Atlantic Beach and East Atlantic Beach. To the East is Lido Beach and Point Lookout. Long Beach has approximately 33,275 residents year round and over 55,000 in the summer. (NY Rising Community Reconstruction, 2014). The people are friendly and traditional such as morning walks on the board walk and yoga on the beaches sand. During the summer Long Beach holds multiple events such as fairs on the boardwalk, farmers market by City Hall, tennis tournaments on the beach and Polar Bear swimming in the winter.
Hurricane “Super Storm” Sandy was the largest storm in New York State recorded time. It was distressing to the community. Sandy caused lots of damage to homes and businesses. Many vehicles were destroyed. Long Beach was terribly flooded by the storm. Water came from all sides of the barrier island. Electricity and drinking water were lost for more than two weeks in addition to multiple fires that had broken out due to the storm. NY Rising Community Reconstruction says “The storm damaged much of the City’s infrastructure, including the sewer and water lines, wells, pump/lift stations, roads, parking lots, electrical systems, traffic signals, fire hydrants, sidewalks, and curbs.” Streets were not visible and cars were covered with more than half way of sand after Sandy hit. Curfew was set in place for the Long Beach residents as a safety precaution. If you didn’t reside in any of the towns of the barrier island you were not allowed in. As per the City of Long Beach they estimated the cost of damage to be approximately $200 million for City facilities and infrastructure. (NY Rising Community Reconstruction, 2014)
After the devastation Long Beach came together as a community in efforts to rebuild. Outside organizations and volunteers came to help. The state of New York launched NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program. Isabel Munoz joined this organization as one of the voices of Long Beach to help bring Long Beach back how it was and make it better for its residents. Munoz as the Long Beach representative has helped homeowners who have faced and facing significant financial loss due to Sandy obtain funds and grants from the government to rebuild. Many homeowners of Long Beach who were hit by Sandy need to elevate their homes. One of Munoz roles with the NYRCR program is to help lower interest loans available for residents that are in need to elevate their homes and cannot self-fund it, or do not meet loan or grant requirements to participate in other programs. Munoz takes it upon herself to go from door to door in the community to go over applications that have been denied or prolonged in efforts to help homeowners. “The City’s Building Department estimates that approximately 20% of Long Beach residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy are still displaced and have not returned to Long Beach as of March 2014”, says NY State Rising program. Long Beach has made incredible progress in its recovery from Hurricane “Super Storm” Sandy, but it still has a long way to go to fully recover. Munoz who is also a resident of Long Beach could relate to the devastation the community