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Superstorm Sandy survivors mark 1 year anniversary

October 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Superstorm Sandy survivors reflected on the storm on Tuesday, one year after it tore through the Northeast.

Sandy made landfall Oct. 29, 2013. The storm sent floodwater pouring across densely populated Long Island and the Jersey shore. In New York City, the storm surge hit nearly 14 feet, swamping the city's subway and commuter rail tunnels and knocking out power to Lower Manhattan.

The storm left behind $65 billion in property damage and was blamed for at least 181 deaths in the U.S. - including 68 in New York and 71 in New Jersey.

Sandy's scars are still very evident and painful a year later. The unforgettable images of destruction still linger in Staten Island, the Rockaways and beyond.

Many are remembering the lost and are rebuilding their lives little by little.

Some areas, including Ellis Island, are celebrating progress, while other communities are still experiencing major setbacks. Businesses along the Sandy ravaged boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J. reopened - only to be wiped out again by fire.

Hundreds and thousands of homes were destroyed and remain uninhabitable. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says only about 11 percent of Sandy aid money has been distributed, leaving many people frustrated and unable to rebuild.

President Barack Obama said in a statement Tuesday that the last year has served as a reminder of the "strength and resilience of the American people." He added that strangers helped each other and entire communities came together to heal.

Mr. Obama says the federal government has provided billions of dollars of assistance to hundreds of thousands of people and small business-owners through direct aid, grants and loans.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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