Stanford in Washington students wait out hurricane

Oct. 29, 2012, 11:59 p.m.

Stanford in Washington (SIW) students hunkered down in the program’s Bass Center as Hurricane Sandy approached Monday, spending the day playing Risk, watching movies and catching up on homework.

Stanford in Washington students wait out hurricane
Jessica Anderson ’14, Irteza Binte-Farid ’13, Lauryn Williams ’14, Meredith Wheeler ’14, and Aditya Todi ’14 hang out at the Stanford in Washington center as Hurricane Sandy sweeps up the east coast. (Courtesy of Sarah Kunis)

In anticipation of the storm, one of the center’s security guards along with the chef and his wife spent Monday night at the house, according to Program Coordinator Emma Ogiemwanye ’12. The house still had power as of midnight EDT on Monday even though some residences in the neighborhood had lost power. The Bass Center is equipped with a backup generator to supply power in the event of an outage.

“The program staff is really awesome about preparedness, so we’ve always all had flashlights and tons of bottled water, like 24 cases or something absurdly high like that,” said Meredith Wheeler ’14. “That’s definitely never been a concern. They’ve been talking about stocking up since mid-last week.”

Non-emergency federal government employees were granted administrative leave in anticipation of the storm, giving the students Monday and Tuesday off from their internships.

“When I left my internship on Friday, we didn’t even make a plan because no one thought we were going to have [days] off of work or anything,” Miguel Boluda ’14 said. “The whole storm just really exploded over the weekend in terms of intensity.”

Two of the three regularly scheduled classes were held Monday evening at the house on Connecticut Avenue and no professors have canceled class yet for Tuesday, according to Ogiemwanye.

While most students did not leave the house Monday, those who did were met with increasingly dangerous conditions outdoors. Six students went out to lunch at about 2 p.m. in fine conditions, but by the time they returned it was raining and very windy, according to Wheeler.

By the time Matthew Colford ’14 went to work out just before dinner, Hurricane Sandy was making its presence felt.

“I went across the street to the gym, which was a big mistake because even just walking across the street was really intense,” he said. “I regretted it the minute I started crossing the street.”

Boluda, dubbed the program’s “resident storm watcher” by his classmates, peered out his windows to try to get the best possible view of the storm, but said he could only really see the street emptying out as the day wore on.

“As much as I wanted to [go outside], and I was very tempted to, they really begged us not to unless you really had something to do,” Boluda said. “I kept myself on my computer all day just monitoring. I offered the updates for everyone else.”

Although Colford said that he expects commercial businesses in the area to open sometime Tuesday, the Metro is not scheduled to reopen and is closed until at least Tuesday afternoon, giving SIW students at least one more hurricane day off.

“I think the students enjoyed it more than anything because they didn’t have to go to work,” Ogiemwanye said.

Alice Phillips '15 is Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. Previously, she worked as the paper's Deputy Editor, Chief Copy Editor, a News Desk Editor and a News Staff Writer. Alice is a biology major from Los Angeles, California.

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