The work began the moment Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters ebbed back into the sea.
Over the past year, people from Cape May, N.J., to Montauk, N.Y., have been mucking out their flooded homes, trucking away tons of debris and putting their lives back together, one piece of drywall at a time.
There has been plenty to do. When the Atlantic heaved forward, it swallowed thousands of vehicles and fried the power systems that make the Manhattan skyline dazzle. Hundreds of buildings burned in wind-whipped fires.