Sandy, Complete: Frankenstormapocalypse Averted

Got photos of the storm? Email us at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.

And just like that, it was over. After being told the worst of the storm would arrive past midnight, I woke up this morning expecting to see downed trees, flooded streets, mass devastation. Instead, besides the handful of loose power lines, scattered leaves, and downed trees we reported on yesterday, campus looks pretty much back to normal. As a few friends have noted on Facebook, it’s even strangely sunny outside:

Despite freaking out in our liveblog coverage, it’s official: Middletown was spared the worst of the storm. The head of emergency operations says Middletown “suffered light to moderate damage,” especially compared to towns nearer to the coast, which are still dealing with flooding and massive outages. (That’s not to mention the devastation and flooding in New York right now, which has killed at least 24 and been declared a major disaster by Obama.)

While many in the area lost power, Wesleyan seems to have lucked out (knock on wood). Here’s more from Middletown Patch:

Compared to towns along the Connecticut shoreline, which were ravaged by flooding, high winds and massive power outages, the city was spared any major damage from Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re looking at a pretty calm day, with 5-15 mile-per-hour-winds today,” said Emergency Management Director Bruce Driska this morning.

By 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, 1,096 or 4 percent of CL&P customers in Middletown remained without electricity, compared to 487,310, or 39 percent, statewide. The curfew, put in place by Mayor Dan Drew at 8 p.m. Monday, was lifted at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

[ . . . ]

“The damage was light to moderate, not severe,” said. “We had some reports of wires ripped from houses.” Driska said officials had thought perhaps more rural areas of the could would have been harder hit, but that just wasn’t the case.

In addition to the minor campus damaged we noted yesterday (RIP, zip cars), Wesleying has also caught word of a downed tree that came within inches of destroying 42 Fountain:

Classes are still cancelled for today, but campus life is returning slowly to normal: Usdan is up and running, and Freeman opened half an hour ago, as did the libraries:

Here’s the latest all-campus email update:

To Members of the Wesleyan Community:

Wesleyan did not lose power during the storm, and normal operations will resume on Wednesday.

Today, Freeman Athletic Center will open at noon. Usdan Marketplace is open (breakfast until 11 am, lunch 12-2, dinner 5-7), Usdan Café is open until 7 pm, WesShop is open noon-9 pm, and Pi Café is open until 9 pm. Summerfields will reopen tomorrow for lunch, and Late Night Dining is closed tonight. The Usdan Center will be open until 10 pm and can accommodate walkup appointments for students groups. For information about library openings, please check the library website or the library inclement weather line at 860/685-2999.

It will be a busy day for Physical Plant, and the grounds crew will be working to clean up fallen trees and branches. Students should exercise caution around damaged trees and any downed utility lines, and should continue to report problems to Public Safety.

Our thoughts are with those who have no power and felt the impact of the storm more dramatically than those on campus. University employees and their families should feel free to make use of campus facilities that are open.

Finally Wesleying extends its regards to all of our WesFriends (and many students’ families) dealing with the devastation in New York and its surrounding regions right now, where Sandy has brought mass floodings (particularly in Lower Manhattan and Red Hook), enormous outages, and at least 24 deaths. As NBC News is telling it,  “Sandy pounded the Northeast, killing at least 24 people, sweeping homes into the ocean, flooding large swaths of coastal areas, crippling public transit, and leaving millions without power. ” Over 8.1 homes and businesses are without power, and it’s likely that the outage could last for over a week:

Meanwhile, subways are flooded, and public transportation is utterly crippled. The FDR drive is underwater. Wall Street is a river. So is Alphabet City. A fire destroyed at least 50 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. NYU Medical Center was forced to evacuate 215 patients. Much of northern New Jersey was submerged when a levee broke.

Obama has cancelled campaign stop in Ohio to deal with the wreckage. On Twitter, NJ governor Chris Christie is taking a similar stance:

For more on the situation as it unfolds, here are the Times‘ live updates. We’re sending our best from Middletown.

Related coverage:

Liveblog: Literal College Survival: Liveblogging Sandy
Weather Update: Frankenstorm/Hurricane Sandy Is One Gnarly Bitch
WSA Emergency Resources
Update: Sandy Predicted To Hit Every State in the Northeast… Except Connecticut
Sandy, Continued: The View From Campus
Sandy, Continued: Main Street to be Renamed Desolation Aisle
There’s Bluuuueeee