Either way, there is not much that can be done about this besides expediting insurance payouts.
The buildings are externally intact because they are made of solid stone and brickwork - from the outside, they look largely unaffected.
The problem is that this is the oldest part of NYC - the electrical grid and communications grid were underground and vulnerable to the surge, and they were wrecked. Many of the shops were basement level and ground level and their inventory and fixtures were flooded and damaged. The residential buildings had boilers, and sewage pumps and PBXs and transformers in their basements. Those key pieces of equipment were zeroed out.
Those buildings are now uninhabitable until the repairs are done, and it has been tough since it has been a fairly cold winter.
So the specialty stores that attract visitors from other neighborhoods are closed. The local bars and restaurants depended upon foot traffic from shoppers as well as locals for business. The locals are also largely gone - living in hotels and with family because they are waiting for their buildings to get their residency certificates back.
It will be summertime before everything is repaired, and by then many businesses will have been forced to close their doors.
It will be years before that neighborhood thrives again.
Every time we have a hurricane on the Gulf the know-it-alls whine about communities not putting our electric undergound to protect it from wind damage. Duh!
Flood repairs take a lot of know-how, money, cooperation and time on a public and private level. If a damaged beach town is a vacation place for most property owners, that makes it double trouble.