Benjamin Lowy


As the wrath of Hurricane Sandy descended on the East Coast of the United States, I found myself tasked with documenting its destructive and violent visitation while using social media platforms for Time Magazine and Tumblr to instantly update the public. In fact, web statistics show that there were 10 images uploaded every second to Instagram with the #sandy marker.

These images were made over the two weeks I spent photographing Sandy from New York City to Atlantic City.

Coney Island, Brooklyn | October 29, 2012 Alberto Losano stands his ground in front of a massive wave.
DUMBO, Brooklyn | October 29, 2012 Dumbo under water during high-tide.
Breezy Point, NY | October 30, 2012 All that remains of a Breezy Point home is a porcelain Madonna.
The John B. Caddell, a tanker ship, ran aground on Staten Island during the Sandy storm surge.
Seaside Heights, NJ | November 4, 2012 The Star Jet roller coaster sits in the calm surf off the coast of New Jersey’s hard hit shore, days after hurricane Sandy decimated its boardwalk home and sent the ride tumbling into the sea. Seaside Heights is still closed to the general public with rumors circulating that residents will not be able to return for months.
Breezy Point, NY | October 30, 2012 Residents of this seaside town react to the widespread destruction caused by flood and fire following the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Belle Harbor, NY | November 1, 2012 The remains of multi-million dollar homes lie scattered and destroyed along the Belle Harbor beach following the destructive path of hurricane sandy.
New York City, NY | October 31, 2012 French tourists Virginia and David use a cellphone to light a map while navigating the darkened streets of downtown New York.
Roxbury, NY | November 1, 2012 John Lennon, 85, mourns over the loss and destruction of his neighborhood for over 80 years. “I’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty, I’ve never been to the Empire State Building… This was my home… And now [rebuilding] will take years. I don’t know what we are gonna do.”
New York City, NY | October 31, 2012 Halloween in storm ravaged New York City, as the city tries to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
Staten Island, NY | November 2, 2012 Mughal Fahad takes a break from cleaning out all that remains of his worldly possessions from a first floor apartment that was completely flooded during the hurricane Sandy storm surge. Newly wed, Fahad and his wife are now staying with relatives in Brooklyn.
Staten Island, NY: The shores and neighborhoods of Staten Island were devastated by Sandy, and many residents believe the borough has been overlooked by authorities.
Staten Island, NY | November 2, 2012 Esther and her dog Pinky (center) look for clothes and food at an impromptu donation center set up by Staten Island residents and the Joseph Anthony Verdino Jr Field of Dreams Foundation. Many Staten Islanders feel their borough is being overlooked and ignored by authorities.
Beach Haven West, NJ | November 3, 2012 The New Jersey Barrier Islands were hammered by Hurricane Sandy, and some residents now face a forced evacuation that could last up to 8 months as gas and sewer lines are repaired.
Tom’s River, NJ | November 3, 2012 a dejected Richard Holmquist sits in an impromptu Red Cross refugee center in the Tom’s River high school auditorium after being evacuated from Seaside Heights. Richard and his wife Natalie have been living in the beachfront community since 1953 in a house his father bought in 1945. The house was destroyed.
Tom’s River, NJ | November 4, 2012 A displaced resident of Seaside Heights, John holds his daughter tightly in the Tom’s River High School gymnasium, which housed many who lost their homes in the first week following hurricane Sandy’s destructive visit to New Jersey.
Rockaway Beach, NY | November 5, 2012 Bill Louw uses a long piece of rebar to rip a tightly fastened bench from a slab of boardwalk that landed in his neighbors from yard. “I’ve lived in the Rockaways my entire life. I was born in that house two doors behind me. My mother still lives there, and I live around the corner. They are just going to throw this out… I think it’ll look great in my back yard… A memory from Sandy.”
Pavel Ivanovo stands on the remains of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, looking out into the sea. The recent immigrant voiced concern that echos across the region:
Robert Combs and his son, Robert Combs Jr., still in dust masks, take a break from mending their home to cast their ballots. This is the younger Combs' first time voting.
Rockaway Beach, NY | November 6, 2012 Grace Toland, emigrated from Ireland in 1958. She lost everything when the Sandy storm surge destroyed her home. “Do you like my hat? I love it. I got it from the church since I lost everything else. I sleep in it since I have no heat… I have to vote, it’s my most important American right.”
Rockaway Beach, NY | November 6, 2012 Phil Rodriguez jumps off an impromptu skateboarding ramp made with storm debris. “Sometimes you got to make lemonade… Know what I’m saying?” Phil lost everything on the first floor of his house.
Staten Island Ferry, NYC | November 7, 2012 A woman braves nor’easter winds and freezing rain as the Staten Island Ferry makes its way to Manhattan. Many zone “A” residents on Staten Island have been asked to evacuate their Sandy damaged properties once again as this new winter storm barrels down on New York.
Rockaway Beach, NY | November 8, 2012 Hungry seagulls congregate around a massive debris dump made up of the remnants of Rockaway Beach homes.
Rockaway Beach, NY | November 9, 2012 “They lost everything. All their clothes, all their toys, their beds, everything… Right now we are staying with my dad,” said Marianne, cloaking her younger daughter Katrina with a blanket for warmth as the family waits in a fuel line in the hard hit neighborhood of Rockaway Beach. Many are still without electricity or heat.