Off-campus students displaced by Sandy


NEW YORK, NEW YORK--King’s students are still suffering from the effects of hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast a week ago. Several students who live in New Jersey have had a particularly hard time. Chris Svendsen ('14) said the basement of his Hoboken apartment was completely flooded. Svendsen evacuated on Sunday night, although he was not in a mandatory evacuation area.

Svendsen is still without heat, power and hot water, which will hopefully return later this week. Like many students, Svendsen’s commute to school is now twice as long. “My 45 minute commute took two hours,” he said.

Catherine Allen ('13) is also without power. Her family acquired a generator this past Thursday, but the gas rations have limited their use of it.

"You don't notice how much little things like hot showers or gas are actually so important until you lose them and how much sunlight or fire means so much to you,” Allen said. Gasoline is being rationed according to odd/even license plates for certain days of the week. Allen lives about 45 minutes from New York City and is awaiting the trains to return to their regular schedules.

In the Financial District, Emery Baumann ('15) returned to New York City post-hurricane to find that he could not move back into his apartment. Baumann left the city to stay with his parents in Delaware during Sandy. Throughout the week, he received updates on the state of his building, learning that there are 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the building's basement. Due to safety regulations, pumping out the fuel from the basement must lapse every 10 or 15 minutes. Today, he was told it will probably take another week to complete this task.

“Yesterday, we did not know if we had a place to stay,” Baumann said. “[We have] no power, no mail, no boilers, pretty much nothing." The building has set scheduled times during the day when the residents can retrieve things from their rooms. Baumann and his roommates are currently staying with other students.

Trevor Baier ('15) found his apartment in Battery Park surrounded by 10 feet of water and semi-flooded. Baier has been evacuated for the week and assumed the soonest he will be able to return will be another week.

“Even then we won't have heat or hot water,” Baier said, “but life goes on, God is good, and I'm thankful for that.” Baier was in Midtown East when the storm hit, and he saw the electricity go out.  "When I got to First Avenue, I heard an explosion and the sky lit up blue and green for a second, and then everything went black," he said.

Corinne DuBois ('14) is still recovering from walking up 25 flights of stairs multiple times a day last week. DuBois spent a week carrying water and supplies up the dark stairwells of the Vogue for King's residents. “It was hard, but kind of fun,” DuBois said. “One time my flashlight died, so I had to find my way down with my lighter.”

Without water for a week, DuBois had to put on a mask and gloves to flush water down the toilets. At 5:00 am on Saturday, the Vogue's power came back, and water later that afternoon. “The students in the Vogue are really appreciative of the those who hosted us in the Herald Towers,” DuBois said. “Everyone stayed pretty positive.”

DuBois also is experiencing delays with her commute and has been riding her bike to school to avoid over-crowded subways.