On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy brought greater New York to a standstill. From the first night on, millions of those who were fortunate to still have power were glued to the news and their social-media feeds, taking in images of the destruction the storm had brought to their neighbors.
Today, exactly one year after Sandy hit, the Museum of the City of New York will open a new, 200-image exhibit called "Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy." The pictures are separated into categories: Storm, Destruction, Coping, Home, Relief and Not Over. While from the first hours of the storm there has never been a lack of iconic imagery of its toll, this exhibit contains some of the best work of photographers who tried to help answer the always-complicated question: What happened?
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As the dunes along The Rockaways were washed away, they destroyed the very homes they were meant to protect.
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Photographer Andrew Frasz scoured the border between Greenpoint and Queens, capturing these images of the Newtown Creek flooding the area beneath the Pulaski Bridge.
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Breezy Point, Queens
"It was kind of staggering to see the physical scar," recalls photographer Stephen Wilkes. "I was really motivated to impress on people just how much people needed help."
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While exploring Brighton Beach, photographer Jonah Markowitz caught an ocean surge as its "hands" made landfall, "claiming everything in its path."
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New Dorp, Staten Island
On assignment forTime, Ed Kashi captured this attempt to save family photos.
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South Amboy, NJ
On his way to the Jersey Shore, photojournalist Allan Tannenbaum discovered this gutted home barely standing.
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Though most trains had been evacuated from the Coney Island Subway Yard, which eventually flooded, a few remained and weathered the storm. Photographer Lenny Pridatko snapped this picture while standing on the Belt Parkway.
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Breezy Point, Queens, NY
Rockaway Beach resident and photographer, Deidre Galvin, took this picture while exploring Breezy Point. She says discovering this "Coming Soon" sign gave her hope in the "dark days" following the storm.
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City Island, Bronx
Dewitt, a photographer and volunteer with the Bronx's Island Current, braved the storm to survey the damage to his neighborhood. He caught this dynamic moment outside the Touring Kayak Club of New York.
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Freelance photographer Bryan Thomas snapped this image in New Jersey's Paradise Park, a trailer park that sits along Sandy Hook Bay. He describes it as a "moment stuck in time," the line between before Sandy and after.
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Workers try to dry out a PATH station that was submerged in the storm.
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Union Beach, NJ
This photograph of the Princess Cottage in Union Beach, NJ was taken by Star Ledger staff photographer, Aristide Economopoulos during a three month stint covering the blue collar town. At night, he took a series of pictures of the town using different exposure rates and capturing what little light was left in this now "haunting ghost town."
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Long Beach, NY
Photographer Christina Tisi-Kramer snapped this photo of the shattered boardwalk while walking along Long Beach the morning after the hurricane.
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Seaside Heights, NJ
Photographer Stephen Wilkes says this sight seemed like a vision of a post apocalyptic Earth.
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A photo editor with NBC News, Matt Nighswander hopped off his bicycle while riding across the Brooklyn Bridge four days after the storm struck (remember, almost all the trains were still out of operation). "In the dark, the power of the bridge seemed to loom," he says.
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Even before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, it made its presence known. Freelance photographer Evan M. Schmitt captured the power of the storm while it was still 400 miles away.
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Jacob Riis Park, Queens
Endless piles of debris gathered by the Sanitation Department after the storm.
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Photographer Bryan Smith captured this car trapped beneath a tree, revealing a "force of nature overcoming our man-made objects."
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Seaside Heights, NJ
While his fellow photographers snapped pictures of the submerged Jet Star rollercoaster on the Funtown Pier, Rob Lybeck snuck off and took a picture of the Seaside Funtown Dino while looking for a bit of levity in the wreckage.
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The federal courthouse stands dark in a city — a swath of a city, anyway — without power.