Tricounty News

Student experiences Hurricane Sandy firsthand

By Julie Bulau, Staff writer

A weekend getaway turned into a vacation one EV-W student will never forget. Austin Meyers found himself in New York City in the midst of Hurricane Sandy. The junior, who is new to EVW this year, was visiting the Big Apple with his mom, older sister, two aunts and grandmother.

It was a last-minute trip for Meyers. "They asked me Thursday night if I wanted to go," Meyers said. "I thought, 'why not'."

Meyers' mom works for the airlines so the trip was free. The forecasted hurricane caused some concern, but wasn't enough to cancel their plans.

The group arrived in New York City on Friday and followed the normal touristy agenda the first two days. They saw the Broadway production of Spiderman and toured the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. They also met up with family friends from France.

"Everything on Friday and Saturday was pretty normal, but on Sunday everything started shutting down," Meyers said. "Tourists were about the only ones on the street." By night, everything was closed. Meyers' group was walking back to their hotel when the high winds hit. "It got really bad," he said. "We couldn't walk straight and almost got hit by a sign."

The group hunkered down at their hotel in mid-Manhattan. They were a couple of blocks away from the main flood damage, and the hotel kept power throughout the storm. They could hear the winds but overall kept calm.

After the wind and flooding abated, the damage was evident. "You could see dirt marks up to the second floors of buildings," Meyers said. "That's how high the water was."

The group was scheduled to fly out on Wednesday but their flight was delayed until Thursday, and Meyers returned to school Friday with a story to tell.

Would he go back to New York again? "Yes, but not during a hurricane," Meyers said.