(Max Rivlin-Nadler) In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, one of the most potent reminders of the storm's wrath was the obliteration of much of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, where the wooden platforms were ripped off their concrete supports and slammed into nearby cars and homes by the storm surge. In some sections, the beaches themselves were eroded almost to the roadway, with dunes destroyed and barrier rocks damaged. For a beach community that had enjoyed a surge in business and activity along the boardwalk in recent years, the storm quickly washed away what had been one of the most successful summer seasons in memory.

“The beach was starting to come alive again; we were having a renaissance,” said Carmen Acuna, a retired church worker who has lived on Beach 108th in the Rockaways for 25 years. “We had a nice mix of people from all over the city, and the boardwalk was where the life was at—it connected everything.”

Read More: Gothamist

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