Courtney Frey, a Wartburg student currently living in Washington D.C., stocked up on water and food last Monday waiting for the arrival of one of the fiercest storms to face the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy.
Sandy brought torrential rains, hurricane-force winds of 80 mph and dangerous flood tides as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some Wartburg students were worried about the effects of the storm while others experienced it first-hand.
“I was told that it wasn’t a good idea to leave my apartment so I stayed inside for a couple days,” Frey said. “Being from the Midwest, I’m not used to hurricanes and so I never really knew what to expect.”
Washington D.C. received the lesser side of the storm, experiencing high winds and rain. The government and public transportation shut down in the city leaving citizens without work for two days, Frey said.
Washington D.C. was mostly affected by fallen power lines, trees and the river flooding in Georgetown, Frey said. The most destruction occurred in the states above Maryland causing even more damage.
“After the storm, it’s really scary thinking about how much destruction occurred so close to where I am,” Frey said. “We were really lucky.”
Other cities throughout the East Coast faced much more devastation and are still recovering from the storm. In Sussex, New Jersey, the power went out and is not expected to be back on for almost a week, Drew Wagenhoffer, a Wartburg student from Sussex, said.
“It’s really hard seeing pictures posted on Facebook of all the destruction that happened where I grew up,” said Wagenhoffer. “My friends and I used to always hang out at seaside and now it’s completely wiped out.”
Wagenhoffer said it took two days after the storm until he could contact his grandmother, uncle and aunt to make sure they were OK. Many of his friends and family were directly impacted by the destruction of the storm.
“It was really a weary feeling not knowing if they were okay or not,” Wagenhoffer said. “Looking back, it makes me realize how important my family is to me and how I couldn’t be without them.”
Kenny Anderson, a Wartburg student from Boston, Mass., said he has friends and family going through many of the same things.
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In Boston, over 900 flights were canceled from Logan International Airport, universities and colleges canceled class and half of the city was without power, Anderson said.
“My family and friends were out of work for a couple days and my uncle said when he first left his house, he had to canoe to the main road,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he was worried about his friends and family back home during the storm because it is something none of them have really experienced before.
“It’s going to be really weird going back home and listening to people talk about the storm.” Anderson said. “It’s a new experience for most people in Boston and people will talk about it for a while.”
Now that the storm has passed, the Wartburg students said their communities are pulling together to clean up the aftermath of the storm. Streets are being cleaned of destruction from the storm, Frey said.
“After a storm like this you just take it day-by-day,” said Wagenhoffer. “All you can do is not dwell on the negatives and just push forward.”