Both of those storms were only Category 1 when they hit, meaning that they were not that powerful -- even though they still tore up plenty of shit in the region, some of which still hasn't been fixed. Which is to say that it could have been much worse. As in, Roland Emmerich worse.
Whoa, whoa, let's not be hasty. Have we forgotten how bad 2012 really was?
In fact, New York City has a pretty good chance of being hit by a category 3 Hurricane this very decade. And the next one. And, in fact, each and every decade. A Category 3 hurricane, in case you were wondering, is defined by the phrase "Devastating damage will occur." We're talking demolished houses, damaged skyscrapers, and destroyed infrastructure, here. We're talking JFK airport under 19 feet of water, according to the people who study this sort of thing.
Because of New York's unique geography (and in case anyone needed an extra reason to dislike New Jersey), Northeast New Jersey and Western Long Island form a bottleneck for hurricanes to pass right into. Essentially, any storm with great intensity has a decent chance of a direct hit. This, incidentally, subjects the city to far worse things than just a "mere" Category 3: New York's near future can very well see a full-on "Oh shit" hurricane of the Category 5 classification. Destruction wise, this storm would be a dozen times worse than a Category 3.
Matthew Bloch via New York Times
Leading us to wonder why it's not a Category 36 hurricane.