Bradley students in Wash. D.C. witness hurricane Sandy’s impact

Hurricane Sandy’s destructive attack on the East Coast last week was, for most Bradley students, a secondhand disaster story. But for a couple students, the storm hit much closer to home.

Junior political science major Jacob Knobbe and junior international studies major Sara Best are studying at American University for a semester in Washington, D.C. While the area was affected by the storm, they did not have to evacuate. However, that meant that resources were limited, Knobbe said.

“Most people in the area stocked up for the storm,” he said. “By the Saturday before it hit there was no bottled water left in any store near campus. Luckily there were some restaurants that stayed open throughout the worst of it, so me and some friends ate Mexican food while the storm was raging all around us.”

Best said the power never went out, allowing for food and entertainment to hold the students over while their internships were postponed.

“The cafeterias remained open, so everyone could just go there,” she said. “Since we had power, we watched a lot of TV and movies.  I think one of the rooms down the hall watched all eight Harry Potter movies.”

Best said any of the damage she noticed was minimal compared to the images coming from other parts of the country.

“Luckily, there was no serious damage near us,” she said. “A little bit down the road, a tree came down, but aside from that, there was really no further damage.”

The most shocking part of the storm, Knobbe said, was the city residents’ proactivity for the storm.

“The extent to which people prepared was astounding,” he said. “Stores were cleaned out, mass transit was cancelled and people were basically ready for the apocalypse. Luckily, it turned out to be mostly unnecessary.”

Best said besides D.C. coming to a halt, the city did not face the kind of devastation seen in much of the Northeast.

“With the D.C. Metro shut down and pretty much everything closed, I think most people got a bit sick of staying in the dorm for so long, but we were really quite lucky,” she said. “It rained a lot, and there were some heavy winds that my roommate and I were absolutely convinced would take down the huge tree outside our window. But compared to what New Jersey, New York and other places faced, we basically just had a bad storm.”

Best said she was most grateful she was able to communicate easily with friends and family; other students weren’t so lucky.

“[I] have friends from New York who couldn’t get in touch with their families in Manhattan and Brooklyn until late Monday night or Tuesday to find out if they were okay,” she said. “Fortunately, their homes and families were alright, just without power. I know the waiting was absolutely killing them though.”