Two years after Sandy: Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point and lower Manhattan slowly recovering

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Hurricane Sandy 2 Years Later
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Two years after Sandy: Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point and lower Manhattan slowly recovering
The McDonald's on Broad Channel Drive in Rockaway Beach only days after Sandy ravaged the neighborhood. (Instagram/GormoJourno)
The completely rebuilt McDonald's as it stands today. (AOL News Photo)
Beach 91st Street & Shorefront Parkway as they were in the days after Sandy. (Flickr)
Windows on the street are still taped even today. (AOL News Photo)
The famed Rockaway Skating Park was destroyed by Sandy. (Flickr)
It has been completely rebuilt. (AOL News Photo)
Another view of the destroyed skating park. (Flickr)
It is now better than ever. (AOL News photo)
The boardwalk is still being rebuilt, but it is no longer in the street. (AOL News photo)
The beach still has a long way to go, but it is in better shape with each passing day. (AOL News photo)
Another view of the beach as it is today. (AOL News photo)
In this photo provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey a surveillance camera captures the PATH station in Hoboken, N.J., as it is flooded shortly before 9:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)
The Hoboken PATH station has been completely restored since Sandy's floodwaters ravaged it. (AOL News photo)
The station has never looked better. (AOL News photo)
The shopping arcade at One New York Plaza, in Lower Manhattan, was completely submerged from Sandy's storm surge. (Alamy)
It is no longer underwater, but has yet to reopen. (AOL News photo)
This Oct. 30, 2012, photo provided by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shows a flooded escalator in the South Ferry station of the No. 1 subway line, in lower Manhattan, after Superstorm Sandy passed through New York.  (AP Photo/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
South Ferry Station has since been completely rebuilt and opened. (AOL News photo)
Sandy's storm surge rushed into this parking garage during the night of October 29, 2012. (AOL News photo)
Cars piled on top of each other at the entrance to the garage, on South Willliam Street, in Lower Manhattan on October 31, 2012. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
The parking garage looks today as if no flooding ever happened. (AOL News photo)
FILE - This Oct. 29, 2012 file photo shows flooded streets around a Con Edison substation in the Brooklyn borough of New York as Superstorm Sandy moved through the area. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
This Oct. 17, 2013 photo shows a pedestrian walking along Jay Street near a Con Edison substation in the Brooklyn borough of New York nearly a year after the area was flooded during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
FILE - This Oct. 30, 2012 file photo shows downed power lines and a battered road smashed by Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J. Sandy, the storm that made landfall a day earlier, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
This Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 photo shows traffic flowing on a road connecting the barrier island at Seaside Heights, N.J., with the mainland of Toms River, N.J. A year ago, during Superstorm Sandy, the road was covered in sand and downed power lines caused by the storm which hit Oct. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
FILE - This Nov. 14, 2012 file photo shows a piece of construction equipment working on the pile of debris, collected during the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy, in the parking lot of Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaway section of the Queens borough of New York.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
This Oct. 17, 2013 photo shows the parking lot at Jacob Riis State Park empty of all the debris that had been stored there following Superstorm Sandy, in the Rockaway section of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
FILE - This Oct. 29, 2012 file photo shows sea water flooding the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in New York as Superstorm Sandy struck the city. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo, File)
This Oct. 20, 2013 photo shows a taxi entering New York's Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in lower Manhattan nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnel and other low-lying areas of the city, including the nearby World Trade Center construction site. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
FILE - This Nov. 22, 2012 file photo show debris left by Superstorm Sandy where the boardwalk had been in front of Lucky Leo's arcade in Seaside Heights, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
This Oct. 13, 2013 photo shows people walking along the rebuilt boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., where a year ago Superstorm Sandy left the resort area in ruins. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2012 file photo, commuters wait in a line to board buses into Manhattan in front of the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The line stretched twice around the arena and commuters reported wait times of one to three hours to get on a bus. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
This Oct. 17, 2013 photo shows the scene in front of the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Nearly a year ago, after Superstorm Sandy knocked out many subway lines, the line stretched twice around the arena and commuters reported wait times of one to three hours to get on a bus. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
FILE - This April 25, 2013 file photo shows a flag waving in front of the burned remains of more than 60 small bungalows which were destroyed at Camp Osborn in Brick, N.J., during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
This Oct. 13, 2013 photo shows a tattered flag flaping in the wind in Brick, N.J., where 60 small bungalows that once made up Camp Osborn were destroyed in a fire a year ago during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 file photo shows Robert Connolly, left, embracing his wife Laura as they survey the remains of the home owned by her parents that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in the Breezy Point section of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
This Oct. 21, 2013 photo show foundations, which are all that remain of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy a year ago in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. The view is similar to the one that Robert and Laura Connolly had of her parents' burned house on Oct. 30, 2012. New homes, top center and top right, are under construction in the seaside community that lost more than 100 homes to a firestorm during Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2012 file photo, Rockaway resident Christine Walker walks along the beach under what is left of the Rockaway boardwalk days after Superstorm Sandy in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
This Oct. 21, 2013 photo shows a view along the beach with reinforced dunes and the buried remains of the former boardwalk in a Rockaway neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York. Nealry a year ago, the boardwalk stood above the beach, used by the neighborhood and many other New Yorkers, but was wiped away by the storm surge of Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
FILE - This Dec. 4, 2012 file photo shows the ruins of Breezy Point in the Queens borough of New York where fire burned 130 houses and flooding destroyed another 220 during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
This Oct. 13, 2013 photo shows a sign in a section of Ortley Beach in Toms River, N.J., on an empty lot in an area where the debris from numerous homes was removed after being destroyed last October during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
FILE - This Oct. 29, 2012 file photo shows lower Manhattan in the dark during Superstorm Sandy, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights promenade in the Brooklyn borough of New York. One World Trade Center, background center, remains brightly lit. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
This Oct. 17, 2013 photo, taken nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy, shows the illuminated skyscrapers of lower Manhattan as a backdrop to ongoing construction in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Almost a years ago, the skyline was forced in to darkness during the floods from Sandy. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
FILE - This Oct. 30, 2012 file photo show Brian Hajeski of Brick, N.J., reacting while looking at the destruction left behind when the Atlantic Ocean breached over land in Mantaloking, N.J., the morning after Superstorm Sandy rolled through. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
This Oct. 22, 2013 photo shows Brian Hajeski of Brick, N.J., standing at the same spot where a year earlier he witnessed the destruction left behind when the Atlantic Ocean breached over Mantaloking, N.J., during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
FILE - This Oct. 30, 2012 file photo shows a statue of the Virgin Mary that survived an overnight fire in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York the morning afer Superstorm Sandy tore through. In the beachfront enclave fire burned 130 houses and flooding destroyed another 220. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
This Oct. 15, 2013 photo shows a view of Gotham Way in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York where a statue of the Virgin Mary that survived a massive fire once stood. The statue became an iconic image of Superstorm Sandy's wrath, which caused a fire that burned 130 houses and flooding that destroyed another 220. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
FILE -This Feb. 25, 2013 file photo shows the sun rising in Seaside Heights, N.J., behind the Jet Star Roller Coaster which had been sitting in the ocean after part of the Casino Pier was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
This Oct. 13, 2013 photo shows an empty section of the Atlantic ocean off Seaside Heights, N.J., where, for months after Superstorm Sandy, the Jet Star Roller Coaster rose out of the water after the Casino Pier was destroyed by the storm. The pier was the former site of the roller coaster that was swept into the ocean, creating one of the storm's enduring images. The roller coaster was removed in May. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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By RYAN GORMAN

Superstorm Sandy forever changed New York City and its surrounding communities, but the extent of the destruction was only discovered when weary residents emerged from hiding in the morning hours.

Sandy's storm surge forever changed parts of lower Manhattan, Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach, Hoboken, Jersey City and other communities. Some have rebuilt in the two years since, but many have not.

The most destructive storm to ever hit New York City struck the night of October 29, 2012. Many were evacuated to higher ground, but millions rode out the storm hoping for the best.

While most of the region's roughly 28 million residents suffered only power and cable outages, a few million saw their homes washed away, burned down, looted or damaged in some way.

Office buildings in Lower Manhattan remained vacant for months. Some are still running on generators.

But the flooded subway tunnels and stations eventually dried out, he trains started running again, and the lights came back on.

Most people were able to return to work and get on with their lives, but none will ever forget their city's battered state in the days, weeks and months following the storm.

Sandy Wipes Out New York Community

Related links:
New York, New Jersey ponder Sandy, 2 years later
Sandy's mental health impact looms large

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