SU community feels the impact of Hurricane Sandy through family and friends

Though the storm passed over Syracuse, it hit some hometowns hard, disrupting the everyday routine of students' loved ones.

Now that the former Hurricane Sandy seems to have passed through Syracuse with only slight rain and winds throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, students are shifting their concerns to those hit hard by the storm, especially to loved ones who are experiencing personal damage and safety concerns.

“I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it was,” said Tracy Yeung, a junior supply chain management and marketing major. “I hoped my family was alright, especially my parents, sister and my dog.”

Yeung, a native of Queens, New York, said she felt scared during the storm after friends began posting photos and videos online of the damage. Yeung’s home was not directly affected, and she said she’s now hoping city officials will help repair the damage in the greater Queens area. Other students are having the same concerns after being minimally affected by the storm.

“Now after the storm, I’m trying to keep up with my family and friends who live along the coast,” said Carrie Sunde, a junior public relations student. “They are having some trouble with flooding and power.”

Sunde is currently in Boston, Massachusetts, but her family has been luckier than others. Sunde’s home did not lose power or get flooded during the storm because her house is on a hill. While some towns near Boston reported seeing fish swimming on the sidewalks, Sunde said Boston was generally let off easy by the storm.

“Today they even reopened schools and transportation. People went back to work and continued their everyday lives,” said Sunde.

However, the entire coastal region has not been as lucky. The New York Times reports that the death toll has grown to 70 in the United States. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has commented that the storm damage has been "unfathomable" and devastating to the state.

Despite the dangers, several SU alumni have even been actively reporting on the impacts of the storm. Stephen Wilkes, a Newhouse graduate, has been a primary photographer for Time Magazine, capturing images of Sandy’s progress and its aftermath along the east coast.

Victoria Czabafy, a sophomore chemistry and forensics student and New Jersey native, has experienced the full impact of the storm. “All of the boardwalks are completely destroyed, which is where I spent all of my summers growing up,” said Czabafy. “In essence, Jersey will never be the same again — or for a very long time.”

Czabafy reports that while all of the power in her hometown of Jackson, New Jersey will be out for at least 24 hours and fallen trees are strewn throughout the streets, her home or vehicles were not affected. Like Sunde, Czabafy said the slight hill she lives on prevented her home from being flooded.

“Before they can begin rebuilding I think they need to work on getting power and heat on,” said Czabafy. “After that, I think the only thing they need is support from the surrounding communities and money to help rebuild the towns.”

However, Czabafy believes the most important thing is supporting everyone in need, and being happy to still have their health despite the physical damage to the towns. Sunde said her own family is considering buying a generator for the future, as does not believe this storm will be that last to affect the east coast region.

“No one is getting off the hook these days with the weather,” said Sunde. “We were lucky.”

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