Human Ecology

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 363–378

Superstorm Sandy and the Demographics of Flood Risk in New York City


DOI: 10.1007/s10745-015-9757-x

Cite this article as:
Faber, J.W. Hum Ecol (2015) 43: 363. doi:10.1007/s10745-015-9757-x


“Superstorm Sandy” brought unprecedented storm surge to New York City neighborhoods and like previous severe weather events exacerbated underlying inequalities in part because socially marginalized populations were concentrated in environmentally exposed areas. This study makes three primary contributions to the literature on vulnerability. First, results show how the intersection of social factors (i.e., race, poverty, and age) relates to exposure to flooding. Second, disruption to the city’s transit infrastructure, which was most detrimental for Asians and Latinos, extended the consequences of the storm well beyond flooded areas. And third, data from New York City’s 311 system show there was variation in distress across neighborhoods of different racial makeup and that flooded neighborhoods remained distressed months after the storm. Together, these findings show that economic and racial factors overlap with flood risk to create communities with both social and environmental vulnerabilities.


Superstorm Sandy Climate change Vulnerability New York City 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations