On November 7th, classes started again at the University post-Sandy. A classmate whom I briefly converse with regularly, walked, sat in her usual seat and began telling me how she only received power in her home in Maplewood, NJ that morning. She mentioned that she hadn’t had power since Monday, the night Sandy arrived in the New Jersey/New York region. As she began speaking about how thankful she was to have power, I could see that her eyes began to tear and her voice began to break, but she stopped herself from bursting into tears.
As my classmate told her story, I began to realize the impact that Sandy had among many of St. Peter’s student body and faculty. Then I began to think about my family. My family’s home is located off the Jones Beach National Park in Long Island, NY, an area that was horribly damaged by the hurricane. During the night of the hurricane, my smallest brother, Nasser, called me to tell me that the house across the street had just caught fire and that the harbor flooded into the peninsula. Thankfully, my family made it through the storm inside the house. However, to this day the neighborhood of Baldwin Harbor, NY, has yet to receive power and schools have yet to open.
In the dorms after the hurricane, residents lost power. Long nights were unbearable, food was limited to sandwiches and liquids, there was no hot water to shower, and the weather was dropping dramatically. After two nights in the dark, a fellow classmate and someone whom I now consider a friend, told me that I could stay at her home in central New Jersey, since her parents had restored power and there was no transportation for me to see my family in Long Island. I thanked her profusely and her family for the food, hot water and comfort that they gave me.
As of today, I haven’t seen my family, but I have plans to visit this upcoming weekend, and I will see the damage of Long Island post-Sandy. As for classmates and faculty, the stories about the damaged shore homes will be roaming through the halls until the restoration process is complete. A process that will most likely take years.