By Frank Fortino

A year ago this week, we felt the full power of nature with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. It brought devastation beyond what most of us could have imagined. Lives lost, homes and communities devastated, enormous financial, medical and emotional costs.

A year later, we are still, in many different Boroughs, dealing with the impact and aftermath. For many, the slow and very painful recovery continues.

Metropolis has worked tirelessly to help with the rebuilding process – for both residences and commercial buildings. We’ve been instrumental in getting homes in Brooklyn and Staten Island completed, and ready for occupancy.

We recently wrapped up our coordination with most of the buildings in downtown Manhattan that were damaged by the storm. There are always exceptions – we’re still working hard on a large building which transferred ownership shortly prior to Sandy. This has proven extremely complicated, and expensive, but we’re making progress every day.

I will say with absolute certainly that this has been tough and at times grueling work, but with the help of the different City agencies such as the Mayor’s office, Department of Buildings, Con Ed, Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Preservation, we were able to complete our projects.

As we look into the future as consultants in Code and Zoning, we are working with architects and engineers who are designing the buildings to withstand a natural disaster such as Sandy. We’ve all learned a lot over the past year – I’m hopeful that this collective knowledge will inform our design and building process for decades to come.

I want to personally thank each and every City Agency who helped in this recovery. As difficult as it was manageable, thank you. I also want to thank the New Yorkers who have once again dealt with the impossible. It is amazing how tough and at the same time great it is to build back this wonderful City.