Batteries, flashlights, water, and canned goods seemed to be on every Long Islander’s shopping list the weekend of August 26-28. Irene was visiting the island.
An estimated 400,000 customers on Long Island were effected by power outages when Hurricane Irene hit on Sunday, Aug. 28 according to News 12. Long Islander’s had been warned that this Tropical Storm, in its early stages alone would be threatening. As winds picked up from 40 to 75 mphs, Irene struck all of Long Island having no mercy on anything and anyone in its path.
Students squirmed in their seats with the anxiety of knowing if school was cancelled or not the day after Irene. Suffolk Community College decided to announce their school closing on Saturday August 27. Emails, calls and text messages were sent out to students notifying that classes would start on Tuesday the 29 instead. But it seems like school closings were the least of some SCCC students worries.
Brentwood resident, and SCCC student at the Grant campus Diana Membreno had no power for 4 days after Irene.
“Our house didn’t suffer any damages, thank God. But a huge tree in front of my house just ripped a chunk of the sidewalk off” she commented and shook her head.
Huntington resident, and SCCC student at the Ammerman campus, Saul Bolanos on the other hand witnessed damages done to his neighboring houses but was fortunate enough to not be one of those victims.
“We lost power for about 2 minutes during the storm itself. Other then that, we were one of the few houses who had power after Irene.”
Sachem resident and SCCC student on the Ammerman campus, Joe Lomonico suffered some flooding in his basement and power outage for 6 days.
“LIPA could have worked a bit more quicker in restoring power”, Lomonico stated. “But I’m happy that the time we had no power, we were able to spend family time together.”
SCCC students weren’t the only ones who were effected by the hurricane. Dr. Leanne Warshauer member of the English department and resident of Commack, had no power for 3 days after Irene. It was a little tougher on Dr. Warshauer since she has young children.
“They were shocked when they woke up and learned there was no television. But I’m surprised by how quickly they adjusted.” stated Warshauer when she referred to her twins, age 6.
All across the Island, families were effected or knew of someone effected horribly by the storm. Students and faculty at SCCC could all agree on the fact that everyone is safe now, and things could have been worst. When tragedy and disaster occur so close at home, Long Islander’s prove once again that they can all come together and help each other in times of need.
Hurricane Irene just proved that strategies and plans need to be made and put into practice so that when weather disasters like this occur, Long Islander’s are prepared for whatever the outcome.