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Beach sand covers roads along the shoreline where Hurricane Sandy came ashore in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, Oct. 31, 2012. The U.S. Northeast struggled for months to recover from the historic storm after Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and caused epic flooding. Reuters

It has been two years since Hurricane Sandy, also known as Superstorm Sandy, formed in the western Caribbean and quickly began gaining strength. The historic storm would go on to ravage parts of Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic before marching up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and colliding with the densely populated coasts of New Jersey and New York.

Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm was responsible for 117 deaths in the U.S. and 69 more in the Caribbean and Canada, according to the National Weather Service. When Sandy reached New York City, the surge level at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan topped 13.88 feet -- more than 3 feet higher than the old record set by Hurricane Donna in 1960, according to CNN.

At least 650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane and more than 8.5 million customers were without power during the storm and after. The total cost of the hurricane in the U.S. amounted to roughly $50 billion in damages. The devastation forced tens of thousands of New Jersey and New York residents from their homes. Many of them were still unable to return a year later. Here’s a look back at the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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A house damaged by Hurricane Sandy is seen between the ocean and in Bayhead, New Jersey, Nov. 2, 2012. Reuters
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A resident walks through plowed beach sand three days after Hurricane Sandy came ashore in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, Nov. 1, 2012. At least 87 people in the U.S. died in the superstorm, which ravaged coastal towns along the Eastern Seaboard. Reuters
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A view shows boats piled next to a house where they were washed ashore during Hurricane Sandy near Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters
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The remnants of a roller coaster sit in the surf three days after Hurricane Sandy came ashore in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, Nov. 1, 2012. Reuters
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People try to open their garage amid the floodwaters in Hoboken, New Jersey, Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters
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A home destroyed nearly five months after Hurricane Sandy is pictured in Mantoloking, New Jersey, March 22, 2013. The Jersey shore, a 127-mile stretch of beaches, small communities and kitschy icons, remained largely in shambles months after the massive storm. Reuters
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An aerial view of the damage around Atlantic City, New Jersey, is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters
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A view of a flooded stairwell down to a submerged subway tunnel at the South Ferry-Whitehall Subway Terminal in lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012. New York City subways were suspended and power in nearly all of lower Manhattan went out following the storm. Reuters
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Residents stand over vehicles submerged in a parking structure in the financial district of Lower Manhattan, New York, Oct. 30, 2012. Reuters
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A statue is seen among homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York, Oct. 30, 2012. Reuters
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Bystanders survey the 700-ton John B. Caddell tanker on the north shore of Staten Island, New York, Oct. 30th, 2012. The tanker ran aground from the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy. Reuters
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A blacked out New York City skyline is seen from Brooklyn, New York, Oct. 29, 2012 as Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the northeastern United States. Hurricane Sandy began battering the U.S. East Coast on Oct. 29, 2012 with fierce winds and driving rain, as the monster storm shut down transportation, shuttered businesses and sent thousands scrambling for higher ground. Reuters
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People line up to fill their gas cans with fuel at a station in Manhattan, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, Nov. 1, 2012. Reuters
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Eddie Liu uses a broom to clean up mud and water from extensive flooding in a laundromat in the Coney Island neighborhood of New York, Nov. 2, 2012. Reuters
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A bench sits in front of the wreckage of homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York, Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters
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