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Hurricane Sandy: Hoboken, One Year Later

Today, Hoboken is a far cry from where it was just eight months ago, after the Hoboken PATH station, which carries passengers between Hoboken and the World Trade Center and 33rd St station stops in New York City, became fully operational.

Ground-floor apartments that were flooded beyond belief are now back to normal, though some renters and homeowners still have claims with insurance companies outstanding. The countless images and stories about property damage have now been replaced with a new boardwalk, new landscaping and countless joggers down on the pier.

The destruction caused by the wind and flooding made Hoboken look like a warzone area, not an affluent northern New Jersey city 10 minutes from Manhattan. Now, it's all just a memory, almost surreal in nature.

Following the storm, which happened on the eve of Oct. 29, 2012, Hoboken became a ghost town. Many of the residents left for days (myself included), seeking to stay with friends or family until power returned. Despair had set in on the remaining residents' faces, and stories of hardship were the soundtrack of the otherwise silent city.

The National Guard, FEMA, and Red Cross set up shop in lower Hoboken, becoming tenants as important as the pizza shops, boutiques and many bars on Washington Street, Hoboken's main strip.
National Guard in Hoboken in late 2012

The city of roughly 20,000 residents has certainly not forgotten the effects of the storm, judging by the emotion invoked in stories and tales of the past year. It has, however, been able to move on, with many people proceeding as if nothing happened.

For now, the sounds you hear of cheering for post-season baseball and football season on a Sunday afternoon, not for power coming back in homes. That's the way it was, and just how Hoboken likes it.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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