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'Rising Waters' documents Superstorm Sandy devastation

By dpreview staff on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:00 GMT
'Rising Waters' documents Superstorm Sandy devastation
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'Rising Waters' documents Superstorm Sandy devastation

A year ago this week Superstorm Sandy devastated New York City and the surrounding region. The Museum of the City of New York looks back at the damage in an exhibition featuring images taken by professional photographers and everyday people. The inclusion of so many images by novice photographers, both in the exhibition and in media at the time of the storm, is an indication of the power of today's 'citizen journalists'. 

"Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy" is presented in collaboration with the International Center of Photography. It will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York through March 2, 2014. 

Above image: 'Immersed Aftermath, Mantoloking' by David Turton Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York 

Comments

Total comments: 29
Deardorff
By Deardorff (5 months ago)

Am sorry for the loss and devastation. But, what does one expect when the build near a shore, a river, the base of a mountain or cliff or in earthquake country?
You plan and insure and pay for the damage yourself instead of expecting government to bail you out.

Having been flooded out before - we had insurance because we lived in a known flood plain. The whole area was in it and we were transferred there in the military. We were one of the 10% who had purchased flood insurance. Everyone had the opportunity and those who did not do so were the first in line whining.

You build where it is a known hazard - you take your chances.

2 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (6 months ago)

So when is the USA going to build houses not made out of almost hay?

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (5 months ago)

Florida finally legislated proper building codes a few years ago (mid 2000s). Other states still suck.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (6 months ago)

Can't help wondering if the Merkins built their houses on proper foundations, a sensible distance above sea level, out of bricks rather than wooden planks - whether the likes of Sandy would have been anything like so much of a problem.

Brian

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (6 months ago)

Sandy was a less than one in a lifetime storm, it probably wasn't considered. It's not like a storm such as Sandy happens every other year.

1 upvote
Biowizard
By Biowizard (6 months ago)

Sure - but every few days in early Spring, we watch videos of tiny F1 tordanos destroying houses in Kansaas that would have simply brushed off the twister if built to the standards of any West-Coast UK house. Heck, over the years, I've lost two garden sheds, and several wood-slat fences to the wind. Personally, I have chosen NEVER to live in a house built in the same style.

2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (6 months ago)

A parochial note: millions of photo prints perished in the tidal surge. Salt water turned them to muck. Some were missed dearly. Most weren't.

Digitalized replicas were not "safe" unless the drives or discs were kept on upper floors. Insurance claims differentiate, surely. Yes, quite.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (6 months ago)

strangly overprocessed, i didnt noticed sandy or any other storm in the US, they dont really cover that on the news in europe.
i guess its bad because of their wooden houses in the states.

from the photos it doesnt shock me, looks like some sort of highwater

1 upvote
KariIceland
By KariIceland (6 months ago)

Well they actually do cover them in Europe, I guess you are not watching the news then.

1 upvote
Sordid
By Sordid (6 months ago)

Hu?
Sandy was covered everywhere in Europe. In TV, radio, newspapers, online.
I was in Austria, Germany and Hungary around the time Sandy hit the US and it was in the news everywhere.

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (6 months ago)

great images! I shot a short video with the Sony RX100 the day after in NYC
https://vimeo.com/52568721

0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (6 months ago)

Dude! Woah! Great job and thanks a lot for sharing.

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (6 months ago)

That last shot is beautiful. I bet it was taken with an iPhone.

There's very little to distinguish between photos taken by kids with their camera phones and seasoned photojournalists. That's why the Sun-Times laid off their photographers. The thousands of kids in the streets, by their sheer numbers, trumps a piddly little staff of so called insightful, classically trained photojournalists.

3 upvotes
Ida8595
By Ida8595 (6 months ago)

I'm pretty sure there are thousands of kids with iPhone on the streets of Somalia, Yemen and other war zone.

Give some respects to professional photojournalists please.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (6 months ago)

Photog D. Duck just had an anger fit. Flames sent his "Press" fedora to the ceiling. Steam flew out his ears. His Graflex lens cracked. "Don't say it's so! Quaaaack, quackity, quack, quack!"

1 upvote
clicstudio
By clicstudio (6 months ago)

I live in Miami and remember the destruction of hurricane Andrew in 1992. Terrible.
Some of these photos are strong but the one of the little girl in pink is just too posed. Meant to cause an effect and not to document the storm at all. A lot of photo journalists do that. Like using HDR to maximize the effect. IMHO it's not right.

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

Some really good shots there, well composed but more importantly giving us an idea about how terrifying it must have been among all that destruction.

0 upvotes
jimi1127
By jimi1127 (6 months ago)

Happy to report that one of my photos is part of the exhibit - a snap of Parks Department employees replacing a downed tree http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8062/8180263333_b8bed41984_h.jpg
_____
The image was taken two weeks after the storm. The way the men were placing the tree into place reminded me of Joe Rosenthal's iconic photo of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (6 months ago)

Jimi....Congrats on your image! Great comparison.
I too, was lucky enough to get an image in the show...was at the opening on Monday night....lot of FUN!!!! Great exhibit.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oisAKZt8syw/URyyRgh4O1I/AAAAAAAAAbA/Mx7nvH6Uxdk/w1071-h833-no/Storm.jpg

1 upvote
jimi1127
By jimi1127 (6 months ago)

Thank you Infraed and congrats on your 'smashing' image - it's certainly one the most dramatic photos in the exhibit - effectively capturing the destructive power Sandy brought to our area.

0 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (6 months ago)

I'm a professional photographer. I live a short distance from the damage done to the Jersey Shore. I spent all of my childhood summers there.

In person, the devastation is significantly greater than these sample images convey. My wife and I drove down there a couple of days after Sandy and have been there several times since. I've been so grieved for what has been lost, I have not been able to take a single picture, considering it too much of an invasion of privacy.

To AngriCorgi: you certainly are Angri. As a result, you lack the ability to feel and convey even the most basic level of empathy for the loss of life and property. You're right. Stupidity IS tragic. I am reminded of Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror."

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (6 months ago)

Is this a real estate website? :-)

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (6 months ago)

Living in gale battered England it is always intriguing how in the US you can build houses on the beach. You must have very good weather most of the time punctuated occasionally by storms of the like we never see.

0 upvotes
Colin Stuart
By Colin Stuart (6 months ago)

The homes aren't "built on the beach" they're either literally moved out to sea, or the shoreline moved closer to the homes thanks to the storm.

0 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (6 months ago)

The reality is that there will always be an occasional bad-weather-event, so even if there is usually reasonable weather, building a house almost in the water to start off with is moronic. It never fails that the same idiots who build their houses on the beach or below sea level act surprised and shocked when weather does arrive. We are all supposed to pretend its a tragedy, but the real tragedy is that anyone was foolish enough to build in these locations in the first place. Stupidity is tragic.

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (6 months ago)

AngryCorgi Half My country is below sealevel. We do not build houses on the beach though. We also rarely build wooden houses.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DukeCC
By DukeCC (6 months ago)

That's a good and relevant point. Until the cost to the public at large becomes an issue, I don't see that changing any time soon. At least until sea levels rise a little more ;)

Great photographs like these will as usual help to document the conditions.

Not a model for the east coast of course, but I am reminded of the town of English, Indiana. After suffering some disastrous floods, the townspeople looked up and said, 'Hey--you know, this is silly. There is some high ground just over there. Why don't we just move the dang town to a location that makes more sense?'
And so they did. (from Wikipedia below):

'From 1959 to 1990, English suffered six floods. The town council decided that the only solution to the flooding problem was to move the town. 160 acres (0.65 km2) of high ground were purchased, a partnership was formed with Lincoln Hills Development Corporation, and the entire town was relocated. This was the second-largest relocation of an entire town in U.S. history.'

1 upvote
Wally626
By Wally626 (6 months ago)

It depends a bit on the construction methods used, location of dunes, sea walls etc. One issue was that the NJ southern NY area does not get a lot of big storms, the storms for the most part parallel the coast and do more damage in Northern Long Island and Cape Cod. The Outer Banks of North Carolina gets hit by a lot of hurricanes, not just tropical storms like Sandy and the homes normally do fine during the storms. A particularly bad storm will destroy a small percentage of the homes but not the level of damage seen in Sandy. The other difference is flooding, most of the Outer Banks hurricanes are windy but the flood surges are not real large. Sandy did not have real high winds but it did have very high water levels.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (6 months ago)

It is not just these pictures but the latest National Geographic has a picture of beach erosion in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The location of the buildings just looks a bit unreal to me. I suppose in the UK with the prevailing Westerlies we bear the brunt of the Atlantic wrath on a regular basis. Of course you get these extra nasty storms from the tropics South of you which are a bit of a lottery on where they will hit. An interesting subject and pictures and for many being near the sea justifies the risk if any, I can well understand that.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 29