When we received notice from our daughter Anna that her dormitory building, located on East 25th Street between First Avenue and the FDR Drive, was being evacuated, I was somewhat skeptical. Just how much water could reach her building and besides, she was on the ninth floor! Boy, was I wrong! We accompanied Anna to her dorm this past Monday, November 5th, for her to pick-up needed items. The damage to the first floor and basement were extensive with salt water damaging all types of cables and electrical wires. The school is hoping for students to return sometime next week.
I believe that the Brookdale dorm houses around 1,000 students. Each student has been impacted in a major way with many being forced to stay at different homes. One thing that I keep focusing on is that Anna's dorm is but one building and when you consider all of the buildings throughout the region, it is hard to calculate the extent of damage and the number of people impacted.
Houses lost or extensively damaged; living without power for more than a week with evening temperatures hovering near freezing; public transportation systems knocked out and gas station lines stretching for miles. It was a humbling experience for us to see just a small portion of Sandy's destruction. It was clear that people were exhausted but you didn't hear much complaining. It is going to be a long time for the communities along the shore to recover. Some of them will be forever different.
On a personal note, I'm proud of Anna's coping with Sandy. With mid-terms here, she has been bouncing around different houses and has finally settled in at with a friend and her family in Leonia, NJ, a short bus ride from mid-town Manhattan. Classes resumed on Monday morning and she is back in the grind.