The housing photographer who chronicled the destruction of Sandy in Queens

The housing photographer who chronicled the destruction of Sandy in Queens

Retired HPD photographer Larry Racioppo went months with out energy after Hurricane Sandy to rebuild his Rockaway Park dwelling. His pictures from that point and his neighborhood within the decade since are the topic of an exhibit this month on the Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Fairness (RISE) in Far Rockaway.

Larry Racioppo

A broken dwelling on Seashore 131st Road per week after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

It began with a heavy rain. Then the basement home windows exploded.

That is how Larry Racioppo, a retired photographer for the town’s main actual property company, remembers the early hours of Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York a decade in the past on Saturday, devastating all 5 boroughs and killing 44 folks.

Racioppo and his spouse had ready their Rockaway Seashore dwelling for the storm as finest they may, hauling valuables out of the basement and eradicating all the deck and inside. Like many New Yorkers, that they had chosen to remain put throughout Sandy: a 12 months earlier, there had been related evacuation warnings forward of Hurricane Irene, and the precise influence of that storm was far lower than anticipated. . “Nothing occurred,” Racioppo stated.

However when Sandy struck, the water in his basement had rapidly overtaken {the electrical} shops. “I took a mop and turned off the principle circuit breakers,” Racioppo recalled. “About 20 minutes later, all of the lights went out in Rockaway.”

Larry Racioppo

The view from one hundred and thirtieth Road Seashore within the Rockaways on October 30, 2012.

Racioppo, who spent 20 years capturing pictures for the town’s Division of Housing, Preservation and Improvement (HPD) – documenting violations, squatters, ribbon cuttings, earlier than and after pictures of vacant tons become properties – spent the following few months residing with out electrical energy, working along with his neighbors to rebuild their seaside group.


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