Hurricane Sandy: Storm’s aftermath affects WU students and families

The National Hurricane Center confirms that Hurricane Sandy developed on Oct. 22. A week later, on Oct. 29, the storm had hit the coastlines of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In the days that follow, residnets continue to respond to the physical, personal and emotional damages.

“NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image Sandy’s massive circulation,” NASA’s website reported. “Sandy covers 1.8 million square miles, from the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley, into Canada and New England.”

The death toll within the United States stands at more than 100, according to the New York Times article published Nov. 7.

Despite evacuations and precautions, schools, homes and businesses suffered structural damages of varying degrees as thousands of people are still displaced.

As of Nov. 2, over 98,000 people in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have registered for federal assistance, according to a statement made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On the other side of the nation, Hurricane Sandy has touched the lives of Whitworth students.

“My grandparents and my family and I used to live on the east coast. Pretty much my whole family lives in New York,” transfer sophomore Jake Clevinger Schlackman said.

Luckily, the worst of the damages his family experienced was a loss of electricity.

“My grandmother still does not have power, because she lives in Long Island. My cousin and his wife own a restaurant. Both the restaurant and his house still do not have power,” Clevinger Schlackman said.

According to an article for the Examiner published Nov. 10, “In the aftermath of Hurricane we see where loss of electricity can linger days after the storm has passed. Tempers flare as local residents are frustrated by the slow progress of returning the lights back on.”

Loss of power can also affect methods of communication in areas the hurricane has hit.

“My mom just went to go visit them, my grandmother and grandfather. And she still has no way to contact me,” Clevinger Schlackman said.

Like Clevinger Schlackman, sophomore Chris Engelmann has family on the East Coast.

“My grandpa lives in New York. He’s lived there almost his whole life. He’s 91 years old,” Engelmann said.

Engelmann said that his grandfather had little anxiety in regards to the storm, referring to the concern as “a lot of hoopla”. He was, however, upset about the damage to his tomato garden.

Freshman Hannah Comi kept her older brother, Sam, in mind during the days of the storm.

“Hurricanes and storms happen a lot on the coast and down in the south. Coming from there, we often forget how big of a deal that is,” Comi said. “I have never been personally affected by a hurricane before and when this one was announced I kind of thought, ‘Whatever, that’s normal.’ Then I realized the day of the storm my brother is there.”

Comi said that in the end, her brother didn’t see much of Hurricane Sandy besides the wind and rain. The greatest inconvenience had been forgetting to go to the store before the storm hit.

Laryssa Lynch Staff Writer

Contact Laryssa Lynch at laryssalynch15@my.whitworth.edu.