Monday, November 5, 2012

Students Stress About Superstorm Sandy

(Click here to view a video version of this report)

   If many College of Charleston students seem distracted it may be because of what their families back home are dealing with: Hurricane Sandy and its destructive aftermath.
     CofC has a large number of students from Northeastern storm-stricken states such as New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland.
     New Jersey, in fact, sends the fourth most students to the College of Charleston after only South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.  New York, Maryland and Connecticut are sixth through eighth, respectively in that category.  This  demographic data, from CofC's Office of Institutional Research, is from the Fall 2013 (recently updated) semester. 
     Here are the thoughts and concerns of several CofC students about Sandy's impact on their hometowns. Some of the students are anxious- yet optimistic- about things being back to normal- or close to it- by the time they travel home for Thanksgiving in a few weeks.

Ali Leberfinger
"It's been pretty intense. I've been corresponding with my family multiple times every day just to make sure everything is OK, that they're not impacted by all the flooding and devastation with trees falling down into people's houses and killing them, and people being stuck in their houses from falling trees, and people not having any power.
But luckily my family has been OK. They have power.  So it's been kind of a hot spot for neighbors who lost power.  So it's been good.  They got lucky."

                           RYAN COLBY
                                             FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J
Ryan Colby
"It's been really hectic, actually. A lot of my friends and family don't have power. Fortunately, my family does have power in their house. We've had a lot of my friends come over and take hot showers. I've been calling my grandparents to see how they're doing. A couple friends in New York City haven't been back to their apartments.  They don't have power and have no idea what's goin on in their apartment.
(At Thanksgiving) I'm worried it's going to be mass choas because I know the gas lines in my hometown are crazy and people are fighting over a gallon of gas. Hopefully when I'm home all of that chaos will be gone."

Chelsea Dentler
"My town got hit pretty hard. We lost a lot of the beachfront, and the beach club where I used to work is now destroyed. My parents were out of power for about six days.So I've been talking to them, seeing what they're doing. I know we had a tree down. And I've talking to my best friend who's in Spain right now. Her house is completely wiped out. So I've been updating her on that. Right now, all my friends and family are safe but my town is pretty much a mess right now.
(Thanksgiving) It'll be different and I'm kind of nervous to see what it will look like. But I'm definitely going home and when I'm there I'll probably help out, if I can."
                                                                                  KATHERINE SLUDER
                                                                                  BOSTON, MASS.

Katherine Sluder
"Well, it hasn't been that bad in Boston. My parents had to go down to our Cape house to take our boats out of the water. Last year one of my dad's boats sunk at the docks, so that was a concern for them. My parents do have a generator, so if they did lose power they would still be OK. My basement has flooded a little but it really isn't as bad as it is in the Connecticut and New York area so I'm thankful for that." 


Trevor Wilson
"It's been pretty hectic.  I have a lot of buddies whose houses are wrecked. My brother and 2-year-old nephew are without power and heat, so that's kind of unnerving. And apparently there are people in lines two miles long trying to get gas for their generators. And gas stations that don't have power so they can't give it to them and they're running out.

I talked to my buddy last night at, like, two in the morning and he said that grocery stores are completely out of canned food. So food's becoming an issue. It's mayhem up there. He said he's never seen anything like it.

(Thanksgiving) No, I moved down here to get away from bad weather."

      A report today from The Washington Post ranks Hurricane Sandy (estimated $50-60 billion) the second most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, behind only Katrina in 2005 ($105.8 billion).
     Hurricane Hugo, which struck Charleston (including CofC) and the Lowcountry in 1989, did nearly $10 billion worth of damage. 
     As of today, Sandy has claimed 110 lives in the U.S.

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