One year ago, "Superstorm" Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard with high winds, heavy rain and a storm surge of more than 13 feet, claiming 44 lives and displacing thousands. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued the following statement on this solemn anniversary:
"One year ago today, Sandy slammed into our shores, wreaking havoc on our infrastructure and our communities. But despite all that was lost, the tremendous response to this tragedy proved yet again that no amount of hardship can dampen the New York spirit. Immediately after Sandy, people throughout the state, across the country and around the world opened their hearts to help however they could. Some reached out a hand to help a neighbor clean up, while others volunteered or donated to a charitable organization. Together, New Yorkers once again demonstrated the resilience that makes us great, as well as a commitment to not just rebuild, but to build our state back even better than before.
"My commitment to the people of New York was to ensure that none of the communities, neighborhoods and families struggling to endure the storm and recover from it were victimized a second time. That is why we are cracking down on predators that engage in price gouging, fighting to make sure recovery workers are paid what they earn and keeping a watchful eye on charities to make sure that all $575 million in contributions made for Sandy recovery efforts are spent on recovery efforts. While our region has made great strides, too many of our neighbors are still struggling to get back on their feet. I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to fight for justice for every New Yorker."
In the past year, Schneiderman has made several efforts to help New Yorkers overcome the challenges posed by Sandy. Among his achievements:
•Tracking $575 million in charitable giving after Sandy to ensure that help gets to those who need it;
•Providing funding to counsel 1,500 homeowners on a range of Sandy-related home retention issues, including mortgage modifications and insurance problems;
•Obtaining almost $300,000 worth of penalties and costs from 43 gas stations that engaged in illegal price gouging after the storm;
•Securing more than $5.3 million for workers who were underpaid on Sandy recovery projects;
•Intervening to prevent New Yorkers from being denied vital communications services in the post-Sandy rebuilding process.