As Hurricane Sandy left NYU students without power and water beginning Monday night, neither expected to return until at least after the weekend, New York City is the site of a mass exodus.
In response, NYU students migrated uptown, to outer boroughs, and to surrounding states.
Tisch junior Christy Hernandez, who lives in Brittany Residence Hall, was able to make it to the functioning Upper East Side on Wednesday after receiving the order to relocate. An aunt from New Jersey was staying with a friend uptown while job hunting.
“The promise of a shower is too much to pass up, to be honest,” she said.
Others returned to their own homes, while others were welcomed in by nearby friends and family. At first they did so voluntarily, though now a mandatory evacuation of the majority of NYU’s residence halls has made the quest for temporary shelter even more pressing.
“Luckily, my hero of a dad drove into the city to rescue me and four friends, who also are residents of Second Street, and took us up to my house in Albany, where we plan to stay until we have power again,” Olivia Baackes, a senior in Gallatin from Second Street Residence Hall said.
Leaving hasn’t been easy, though. A city dependent on the convenience of mass transit has been crippled by the loss of the subway system, commuter and Amtrak trains, and intercity buses. Desperate for shelter, electricity, and water, students took matters into their own hands, displaying remarkable resourcefulness in the wake of disaster.
Students from areas further than the East Coast have been left reeling.
LSP freshman Fehbe Meza had been living in Rubin for two days without power, one without running water. When forced to evacuate, she and two of her roommates decided against a crowded Kimmel Center for Student Life, Weinstein, or Founders Residence Halls and relocated to one roommate’s home in Queens.
“I was completely unprepared for the aftermath of the storm. Hailing from Los Angeles, we do not deal with terrible storms and I have never been without power,” she said.
Many students like Stern junior Thomas Schultz dealt with things on their own.
“I didn’t want someone to try and come into the city and get me, and Amtrak and buses weren’t running and I wasn’t sure when they’d be back. I also just felt like ‘GTFO,’” Schultz said.
After realizing that his apartment would be without power for several days, Schultz promptly booked a rental car online through Hertz and was out of the city on his way home to Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, there some movement on the citywide transportation front.
Governor Cuomo announced today that there will be limited subway service on 12 out of 23 subway lines beginning on Thursday, Nov. 1, although the subway lines will not travel between boroughs. There will be “bus bridges” to connect people traveling from Brooklyn to Manhattan and Williamsburg.
Carrie Courogen is a senior editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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