Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy visits Boston

I suppose I can now say that I have been through my first hurricane.  Growing up in the Midwest, hurricanes were something that I only heard about on the news.  I would watch videos of rain jacket clad weathermen struggling to stand upright, but I never really expected to see it firsthand.

Hurricane Sandy brought plenty of rain and wind to Boston yesterday, but for us the worst is past.  Yesterday Boston University closed both campuses and the MBTA stopped all mass transit service at 2PM.  My roommates and I stayed home and settled in for a day of matlab homework and studying, as the wind gradually picked up throughout the day.  By early afternoon we were watching people who had gone to work in the morning head home and struggle to stand upright in the wind.  As the day went on, the storm only continued to grow.  According to the National Weather Service, by evening we had reached peak wind gusts of 64mph in the area where I live.  We could see trees across the street swaying back and forth and rain pelted our windows.  This continued for several hours but eventually the winds began to die down and the storm quieted overnight.

Despite the hurricane yesterday, this morning Boston is already getting back to business as usual.  As I walked to work this morning I saw some branches down and leaves littered the streets, but the day feels more like a rainy spring day than the morning after a hurricane.  The MBTA has been running since 8AM and BU officially reopens at 11AM (though many grad students have been back to work for a couple hours already!).  Power is still out for thousands of people across the state but it is slowly being restored and much of the city is already up and running.  [In fact, most of the area where I live never lost power- even during the peak of the storm.]  All in all...Boston dodged the worst of it.

Sadly New York and New Jersey did not fare as well.  Our thoughts and prayers will be with them as they face a long cleanup process and try to put their lives back together.

PS- Science did not stop for the hurricane.  I worked on matlab from home but evidently one of my labmates ran the TIMS during the hurricane and the other was so focused on writing his dissertation he didn't notice that a tree fell in his front yard.  Ah grad student life.

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