Hurricane Sandy hits close to home

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By Elizabeth Hjelvik

For the past few weeks, news of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath has been seen across the nation. Millions of people have been left without power and shelter.
The New York Marathon was canceled and places like the Jersey Shore have been destroyed. With a death toll above 110 and an estimated $6 billion in damages, Sandy is being considered the super storm of the decade.
An advantage of living in a place that’s land-locked is that Los Alamos isn’t susceptible to natural disasters such as Sandy.
Nonetheless, for the people that have family on the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy hits close to home.
2006 Los Alamos High School graduate Laura Musgrave, lives in Manhattan. Her mother is Barbara Musgrave, an LAHS biology teacher.
Barbara said that having her daughter in Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy made her and her husband nervous wrecks.
She said that the entire time Sandy wrecked through Manhattan, she was on the phone with Laura, but at times reception would be lost.
While she was talking to her daughter, Laura would say things that would make her and her husband even more nervous. For example, Laura described that the wind blowing against her apartment as sounding like a freight train — and even more worrisome, was when Laura told her mother about lightning she was seeing outside of her apartment.
After Sandy passed, Laura went outside and discovered that the lightning she saw was actually the transformers exploding around her building. While she was outside, she saw Sandy’s aftermath.
One of Sandy’s victims was a building, which had it’s side torn off.
In days that followed the storm, that same building was featured on national newscasts.
Christian Hjelvik, a 2010 LAHS graduate, is attending Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. When Sandy hit Stony Brook, Hjelvik moved from his dorm room to a friend’s room, because his room had windows.
He spent the night in his friend’s room and said Stony Brook lost power for an hour. When Sandy passed, Hjelvik and his friend walked around campus.
Hjelvik said everything outside was destroyed; trees and power lines were down and the only light that was seen was the light from police cruisers.
While the rest of New York had no power, the Stony Brook campus was one of the only places in the Long Island area that did have power.
Not knowing exactly what was going on, Hjelvik’s family was terrified as the hurricane raged through New York. Because the cell towers on the East Coast were overloading, Hjelvik was unable to call his family, so he sent text messages to his younger sister.
New Yorkers are still trying to recover from the storm. One of Laura’s friends is sleeping on the floor of Laura’s apartment because there still is no power at her place. However, it seems as though people are trying to move on with their lives and return to some form of normalcy.
Hjelvik is back in school after classes at Stony Brook were canceled for a week.
Despite the fact they were thousands of miles away, having loved ones on the East Coast during Hurricane Sandy gave at least two Los Alamos families a taste of what it’s like to go through a hurricane.