Hurricane Sandy on Campus – First Hand Reports from Dublin High School Grads
For Dublin residents, the night of Halloween will consist of trick or treating, costumes and parties. For millions of residents on the east coast, Halloween will be overwhelmed by the long, slow process of rebuilding neighborhoods and mourning those lost to the storms.
To get a first-hand perspective on the impact of Hurricane Sandy, OneDublin.org reached out to several Dublin High School graduates currently attending colleges on the east coast to hear their first-hand stories.
As you read their stories and view the images they’ve shared, please consider taking a moment to donate to the Red Cross or charity of your choice – our neighbors across the country need your help.
Sarah Wolfish – Columbia University / Jewish Theological Seminaryand Dublin High School Class of 2010:
“Having grown up in Dublin my entire life, preparing for the dangers of Hurricane Sandy was a very frightening experience. We were all instructed to stock up on medicines, non-perishable foods, flashlights and batteries, and water. The entire public transportation system shut down starting on Sunday, October 28, classes were cancelled for Monday, October 29 (and then eventually for Tuesday as well), supermarkets were filled with lines of people stocking up on food and water, and many areas all over the city were being evacuated (including a neighborhood within walking distance of where I live).
“When we found out that the entire MTA system was shut down, we knew that this was an extremely serious situation. Being a Resident Adviser in an underclassman dorm, I found myself attending emergency training and preparation meetings, checking in with each resident and calming nerves, and educating students about hurricane preparations. Once the hurricane actually reached the city, we were all seeing pictures of the flooded East Village, of a destroyed crane midtown, of a collapsed building, and many other frightening images on the news. One of the scariest pieces of news was that the NYU Hospital lost power and had to have an emergency evacuation during the storm. To calm nerves and to make sure everyone was together, I, along with the other resident advisers of my building, organized a movie night (showing Grease in honor of the hurricane’s name) during the peak of the storm where we served popcorn and kept each other company.
“Thankfully, Morningside Heights (Columbia’s neighborhood) came out of the storm in a pretty decent condition. We never lost power or water and still haven’t experienced flooding. A few trees fell here and there, but compared to most other areas in the city and on the East Coast, we had very minimal damages. The most traumatic part of the storm was the uncertainty of the situation. We just didn’t know how serious it was going to be by the time it reached us. This hurricane was extremely concerning and worrisome to my friends and family back home, especially with all the images being shown on the news. Unfortunately, the rest of New York City had an even more traumatic experience. Parts of the subway system, along with many neighborhoods, are completely flooded right now and many parts of lower Manhattan lost power. Many people in the city and on the East Coast have suffered immense damages to their property and homes, are incapable of traveling to work, and unfortunately, have suffered some health issues and injuries due to this storm.”
Ben Young – US Military Academy at West Point and Dublin High School Class of 2011:
“The news of hurricane Sandy coming sent a lot of preparation at West Point in motion. With the few preceding days multiple groups of cadets prepared sand bags and placed them throughout campus. There were big water coolers placed in designated areas as a contingency plan for a loss of power and water. However when it all came down, West Point really was not hit that badly by Hurricane Sandy. There were very high winds, light rain and a bit of flooding on Monday evening and throughout Tuesday. Relative to other parts of the East Coast the effects of Sandy on campus were very mild. However a lot of cadets have friends and family that were hit hard. My roommate is from Queens and one of my best friends is from Long Island. All week I have been getting updates about the city and thankfully their family is safe. However there are many that have been devastated and are in need of help. In seeing some of the pictures on Facebook and on the news I ask that those recovering from this devastation be in your thoughts and prayers as they begin to resurrect and rebuild.”
Melyssa Lloyd – Penn State and Dublin High School Class of 2010:
“We had been preparing for a major power outage that we were told would last a couple of days. My roommates and I had bought flashlights, candles, ice and a couple of cases of water because we were expected to get hit pretty hard in the middle of the night. Our school actually cancelled classes on Monday for the first time in 6 years so it was a pretty big deal. State Police closed all roads/highways from 2:00 pm on Monday until this morning because they were scared of mass floods. Thankfully Hurricane Sandy didn’t hit State College as hard as we expected but I would definitely say as an entire town everyone was pretty prepared for the worst.”
Chris Harral – Pace University (New York City) and Dublin High School Class of 2012
“From the time I woke up in the morning I could hear this really loud, eerie humming sound from the wind passing through the buildings. I watched the Channel 7 News from about 1pm – 8pm, trying to keep myself updated on the storm that had already flooded Battery Park and was close to flooding most of the shores along Jersey, when our power went out. To be honest I was glued to the TV watching the news because I was sort of excited as terrible as that might sound. We obviously don’t get things like this in California.
“The storm really started to hit at around 8 or 9pm and the loud pounding and humming against the common room window in my dorm woke me up from a short nap. That kept up all night and we thought the window was going to break. In fact, windows of the Gehry Building on Spruce, which is right across the street to our building, fell and shattered on the sidewalk. This morning we could see that the railing and glass that created a wall on the large outside patio had been completely mangled and shattered.
“At about 1am, I ventured with a few friends to walk to the South Street Seaport, 3 or 4 blocks away. On our way we saw trees uprooted, scaffolding torn halfway off of buildings, and leaves and trash scattered all over the streets. It was pitch black as the power to lower Manhattan had been turned off to avoid fires. When we got to the Seaport it was shocking how much flooding had occurred. We saw a few cars that were up to their hoods in water and trash floating in the water. We somehow worked our way around a few of the buildings on a wooden porch that had not yet been submerged and noticed that a jewelry store and a few others had been robbed. The wind and rain got too heavy and so we walked back to One Pace Plaza.
“By that time all of the students in other dorms had been evacuated and moved into the theatre and student union of our building to sleep. We are all now searching for the few outlets that are being powered by our reserve generator so we can call our families and friends at home. Flashlights are definitely our best friends right now, especially in the bathroom. Although there has been extensive damage done by Hurricane Sandy, it has been a very interesting experience. We are really safe now and now we are waiting for the subways to be drained of water so we can resume classes. Hopefully we will be able to continue on with our lives by the end of the week.”
Lindsay Platter, East Carolina University and Dublin High School Class of 2009:
“During the week of October 22, I started to hear about Hurricane Sandy coming right towards my school, which is located in Greenville, North Carolina. The local news was expecting the storm to hit us that following weekend. A lot of flooding and school cancellations were all discussed and I wasn’t sure what to expect. My roommate and I went to the grocery store and loaded up on food just in case. When the weekend came we got lucky and had no flooding – the storm didn’t hit us as hard as they had predicted. There was a lot of rain and strong winds but nothing to cause damage. None of my classes were cancelled and everything was ok. I was glad everyone in my community was safe and was well prepared.”