Welcome back to Camera Obscura, Curbed's series of photo essays by photographer Nathan Kensinger. Last week he looked at Red Hook, Dumbo, and Gowanus and then at the Rockaway Peninsula. Here now, a look at Staten Island.
[Many waterfront communities on the eastern shore of Staten Island were decimated by Hurricane Sandy. All photos by Nathan Kensinger.]
Though it has been almost a week since Hurricane Sandy came ashore, Staten Island's coastal communities are still in the process of digging out their homes. In tight-knit neighborhoods like Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach and Great Kills, the storm caused serious devastation. From one-story bungalows to waterfront condominiums, few structures were spared by the floodwaters. Houses were pushed into the middle of streets, burned to the ground, or destroyed by the storm surge. Hundreds of boats slammed ashore, causing widespread damage. Electricity and gasoline remain scarce on the island, and many have been left homeless by flood damage. This past weekend, however, an army of volunteers and city employees descended on the island, providing food, clothing, and muscle to what will be an enormous cleanup effort.
The John B. Caddell tanker ran ashore in Stapleton during the storm, closing down Front Street.
Piers driven ashore by Sandy blocked off Bay Street Landing in St. George.
On Father Capodanno Boulevard, which runs along the shoreline, homes were hit hard by the storm.
In Midland Beach, the ocean surged at least a quarter of a mile inland past the boulevard.
This home was knocked off its foundation by the surge, despite being blocks from the waterfront.
Cars were pushed into marshes and streams, which border many of Staten Island's coastal communities.
The streets of Midland Beach were still flooded and without electricity over the weekend.
Some of the smaller one-story bungalows near the ocean were flooded to their rafters.
Over the weekend, residents began to throw out all of their belongings.
In New Dorp Beach, piles of damaged furniture, clothing, mattresses, and other debris blocked the roads.
The bungalows closest to the water in New Dorp Beach were completely destroyed.
The storm surge also pushed homes in this neighborhood from their foundations.
Few personal items could be salvaged from flooded homes. This bungalow was off-limits after being declared an "Unsafe Area" by the Department of Buildings.
In Cedar Grove Beach, a century old seaside community, only two of the remaining bungalows survived the storm.
This pile of rubble is all that remains of a Cedar Grove Beach home that was being used to film scenes for HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."
In Great Kills, hundreds of boats were pushed ashore, damaging houses and cars.
Streets were blocked by yachts, speedboats and sailboats.
Almost every home near the Great Kills Harbor had a boat in the driveway.
Docks and piers were tossed onshore into a confused jumble.
The waterfront condos at Port Regalle were also damaged by wayward boats.
· Official site: Nathan Kensinger Photography [kensinger.blogspot.com]
· Surveying Sandy's Damage in Red Hook, Dumbo, and Gowanus [Curbed]
· Surveying Queens' Rockaway Peninsula After the Storm [Curbed]
· Nathan Kensinger archive [Curbed]