5 years after Sandy: Continuing efforts and future storm prep

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NEW YORK -

Daniel Zarrilli, chief resilience officer for New York City, says the city has strengthened its coastal defenses in the five years since Superstorm Sandy.

Zarrilli tells News 12 that there is a major focus on making New York City's neighborhoods, economy and public services ready to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change, coastal storms and increased heat. Zarrilli says it’s a five-borough effort and that $20 billion of spending is being designated to investments in infrastructure and coastline and business protections. That includes the addition of sand to beaches, strengthening the power grid, rebuilding boardwalks and preparation programs for businesses.

Zarrilli says one example of how the city has reinforced the coastline is the engineering of the newly designed Rockaway Boardwalk, which is intended to protect the city against coastal storm surges.

The city has invested in stronger building and zoning codes for coastal structures, according to Zarrilli.

He says the city awarded $54 million to 350 small businesses that were affected or destroyed by Sandy. The city has also created programs to help small businesses prepare in the event of another devastating natural disaster.

While there is still more to be done, Zarrilli tells News 12 the city is much more prepared than it was back when Sandy hit.

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