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 after dark. Hundreds of buildings burned in wind-whipped fires.
One year into the recovery, The Associated Press revisited some of the locations hit hardest by the storm. The progress in some communities has been remarkable. In others, it has been painfully slow.
Boardwalks and amusement parks on Long Island and the Jersey Shore have been rebuilt.
Yet, countless buildings sit vacant and moldering. Others have been reduced to empty lots or piles of sand. Some homeowners are still staring at the same stripped studs and piles of lumber that have been in their living rooms since last November.
One thing is clear: There has been no retreat yet from the shore. Houses are slowly rising again all along the coast, albeit sometimes on strange platforms above the high water mark.