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Superstorm Sandy: Then and Now (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

By Edecio Martinez
Published: October 28, 2013

Superstorm Sandy ravaged parts of the Northeast coast last year, leaving millions without power and wreaking havoc throughout neighborhoods. These scenes of chaos and destruction were captured by both professional and amateur photographers, many of whom risked their lives in Sandy’s aftermath.

Watch The Weather Channel all day Tuesday, October 29, for all things Sandy

The collection above features images taken by photojournalists Natan Dvir, Natalie Keyssar, Amy Medina and Liz Roll. These photographers captured the scene during or in the immediate aftermath of Sandy, and as the anniversary approached, Weather.com asked them to revisit those same spots. In some cases, the photos show the progress made has been remarkable. In others, the landscapes are still scarred by the storm.

Dvir, an Israeli photographer, said in an interview with Weather.com that going back to Staten Island and the surrounding areas was an eerie experience.

“Re-photographing the images I took a year ago brought back the experience I went through last year,” Dvir explained. “The atmosphere was so depressing. Most of the residents in Midland Beach left either having their houses declared as not safe or [having been] traumatized.”

Keyssar, a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y., said seeing victims trying to provide for their children without access to heat, transportation or power will always stick out in her mind.

“I'll always remember and elderly Haitian woman who I saw sitting stoically on a cot in a shelter in the Rockaways a week after the storm,” Keyssar told Weather.com. “She had moved to Brooklyn to be with her daughter after the Earthquake in Haiti in 2010 destroyed her home, and now found herself and her daughter and granddaughter again without a home due to a natural disaster. Until that night, the three had been sleeping in a car together.”

Roll, a freelance photographer based in Washington, D.C., has covered well over a hundred disasters for non-profits and government agencies, including FEMA. She told Weather.com that it felt good going back to New Jersey and see some of the victims getting back on their feet. But Roll feels that it's going to take a lot longer than a year to fully recover from a hit like Sandy.

"When I came to shoot in Jersey, I was blown away," Roll said. "I had spent 3 weeks covering Katrina, and that was terrible. But it seemed to me this was so much worse, so much destruction and so many people affected."

Covering natural disasters like Sandy is, of course, challenging, but Roll focuses on finding the balance between professionalism and compassion.

"It's very hard to do this kind of work - if you let it get to you, you can't do your job, but you need to have the empathy; I think it shows in the shots. It's a very fine line to walk."

Medina, a Long Island-based photographer, remembers the damage done by Hurricane Belle in 1976 and Gloria in 1985, but was shocked by the lasting devastation Sandy left behind.

“Documenting the difference near the anniversary of the storm reminds me that here on this island, many are dedicated to our lives here. And I'm reminded of the beauty of the area that makes me love it so much,” Medina told Weather.com. “People who don't live in hurricane-prone states often wonder why the shore-dwellers stay, and it's easy to understand when you see the beauty that is the beaches and waters of Long Island.”

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