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Thread: Storm of the Century

  1. #1

    Storm of the Century

    If any storm can be called the storm of the century, megastorm Sandy in 29-30 October 2012 qualified. Starting at about 8 pm on Monday, Sandy made landfall just south of Atlantic City and filled that city with water. By midnight, it had flooded most of the seacoast communities on the Jersey shore, broke a levy on the Hackensack River and flooded several small towns, and put much of New Jersey that is less than 10 feet above sea level underwater. The sea rose 14 feet at the peak of the storm surge and flooded Southern Manhattan, flooding ground zero and the subway tunnels all the way to New Jersey, as well as all tunnels between Manhattan to Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx. The highest peak tide/surge ever recorded was 10.5 feet above sea level. A day after the storm, over 6 million people still don't have power and over a million have not been able to return to their homes.

    Rutgers lost power at 8 pm on Monday. CareCure was not restored until late Tuesday evening (today). I am grateful to Steven Edwards for repeatedly checking and resetting the server. CareCure may be a little slow. In the meantime, Rutgers has shut down all classes on Wednesday, Thurs day, and Friday. Students have been asked to go home. Those that cannot go home will be accomodated on the Busch campus (the one where the W. M. Keck Center and the CareCure server is located). At the present, we have not gone to visit the laboratory and find out how things are because the roads and bridges were closed. As soon as we do so, we will make the decision whether or not we can host the Friday Open House.

    Fortunately, due the preparations and hard work of emergency service providers, loss of life has been limited to 50 people in over 10 states. We are very grateful to Governor Christie, President Obama, and all the people who have worked so hard to restore services to the state. Even though much of New Jersey and New York City are still without power and there are still tens of thousands of people stranded in flooded buildings and communities, the situation is turning around. Much work still lies ahead.

    Wise.

  2. #2
    The scale of devastation is almost impossible to comprehend. Thank you for this update, and for all that you and Steven do for this community in the midst of a such widespread disaster. Words are utterly inadequate at a time like this, but still I want to say how much everyone in the path of this storm is in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you'll soon be able to assess the damage to your laboratory and that it will be minimal, and that you and your students, colleagues and coworkers, and all of your families and loved ones, will remain safe in the aftermath.
    Last edited by Bonnette; 10-31-2012 at 04:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Thoughts and prayers for everyone affected by Sandy. The vastness of this storm is almost incomprehensible. I say that from the perspective of observing every tropical wave that leaves Africa and shows signs of getting organized into a named storm.

    Tens of millions of folks were in the path of Sandy. From Florida to Maine, up into parts of Canada and west to the Ohio Vally, lives were touched. Sandy's impact ranges from minor inconveniences to total devastation. With so many lives and so much property hit, many people far beyond the storm path have close friends or relatives for whom they are concerned.

    The images of flooded subways and broken homes are horrific. It's seems impossible that such enormous damage can be reversed. Lives have been lost, and that can't be changed. Treasured photos and keepsakes will be missed. But thanks to the extraordinary heroics of millions of ordinary people, healing has already begun.

    History tells us that the waters will recede. Roads will open. Electricity will be restored. The subways will be drained and the trains will run. Homes will be rebuilt. Cars will be replaced. No, it won't be the same as it was - but it will be okay. The sun will shine again. People will laugh and children will play.

    But right now there's a big job to do. We send love to those doing the work.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    A friend writes from the Bahamas to remind me that Sandy didn't ignore the islands to the east of Florida. The Bahamas got run over. Also hit hard were Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  5. #5
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    Natural disasters like this should opens people's eyes, but people really just don't understand. As the weeks go by, everyone not personally affected by the storm will move on with their lives while those in the storm's destruction are left to put their lives back together. Seriously I know people in a state with very minimal damage that were complaining about being without electricity for 14 hours. Guess they could have never survived the major damage the others states encountered.

  6. #6
    This storm is resulting in many meetings at Rutgers concerning how to prepare for this kind of disaster better in the future. For example, many laboratories (such as the Keck Center) are highly dependent on electricity for their -80˚C freezers used to store their samples and cells. While some of the laboratories have auxiliary power and most freezers don't usually thaw for 24-48 hours, longer power losses can easily result in loss of many years of research. Likewise, animal facilities are located in basements and are very vulnerable to flooding. For example, NYU-Langone Hospital lost their animals facility containing 7500 mice ((Source)). Very fortunately, at Rutgers, we did not lose any animals and all the freezers are intact.

    In now over 15 years at Rutgers, I have never experienced the university telling students to go home. Yet, this was what Rutgers had to do when facing the prospect of housing and feeding >50,000 students in a blacked out city with limited water and no deliveries. Normally, Rutgers food services provide over 110,000 meals each day. However, Rutgers did an amazing job. Almost as soon as the hurricane was over on Wednesday morning, Rutgers buses were still running and dining services in the New Brunswick/Livingston campuses started serving food. Speaking of power, Rutgers has been investing into a seven-acre solar energy farm and solar panels on many parking lots that is now providing over 60% of power for the Livingston. By Wednesday morning, power was restored to Livingston and Busch campuses. Today, power service was restored to the College Avenue and the Cook/Douglas campuses in New Brunswick, to all the Camden and Newark campuses. Rutgers employees were back on the job all day today.

    Still about 4 million people are without power in New York and New Jersey. On Wednesday, long lines of cars waited at the few gas stations that had the gas or the electricity to pump the gas. The gas shortage was unexpected. Some people couldn't come to work at Rutgers because they can't fill up their cars to make the commute. Some 20,000 people are still stranded in Hoboken, Atlantic City, and other New Jersey communities. These problems are being resolved with each passing hour but many challenges remain. Most of the East River tunnels between Brooklyn and Manhattan had been flooded. They were able to drain the Clark Street (No. 2 and 3 trains) and the Steinway tube (No. 7 train) but the Joralemon and Rutgers tubes, the two most heavily used, are still flooded ((Source)) NYU and Bellevue Hospitals in midtown had to be evacuated. Most of southern Manhattan below 38th street remain dark.

    Wise

  7. #7
    It's amazing that Rutgers weathered the storm as well as it did, and to be up and running so quickly is truly astonishing. If Hurricane Sandy doesn't signal a need for other institutions to prepare for future disasters of this kind, I don't know what will!

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    lucy the elephant lived, but the boardwalk and roller coaster are toast.

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    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    During the outage/ storm...

    I pictured a shitlload of white lab rats escaping, burning down Keck and demanding the release of the others by dangling a heavy weight over Dr Wise's neck.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    This storm is resulting in many meetings at Rutgers concerning how to prepare for this kind of disaster better in the future. For example, many laboratories (such as the Keck Center) are highly dependent on electricity for their -80˚C freezers used to store their samples and cells. While some of the laboratories have auxiliary power and most freezers don't usually thaw for 24-48 hours, longer power losses can easily result in loss of many years of research. Likewise, animal facilities are located in basements and are very vulnerable to flooding. For example, NYU-Langone Hospital lost their animals facility containing 7500 mice ((Source)). Very fortunately, at Rutgers, we did not lose any animals and all the freezers are intact.

    In now over 15 years at Rutgers, I have never experienced the university telling students to go home. Yet, this was what Rutgers had to do when facing the prospect of housing and feeding >50,000 students in a blacked out city with limited water and no deliveries. Normally, Rutgers food services provide over 110,000 meals each day. However, Rutgers did an amazing job. Almost as soon as the hurricane was over on Wednesday morning, Rutgers buses were still running and dining services in the New Brunswick/Livingston campuses started serving food. Speaking of power, Rutgers has been investing into a seven-acre solar energy farm and solar panels on many parking lots that is now providing over 60% of power for the Livingston. By Wednesday morning, power was restored to Livingston and Busch campuses. Today, power service was restored to the College Avenue and the Cook/Douglas campuses in New Brunswick, to all the Camden and Newark campuses. Rutgers employees were back on the job all day today.

    Still about 4 million people are without power in New York and New Jersey. On Wednesday, long lines of cars waited at the few gas stations that had the gas or the electricity to pump the gas. The gas shortage was unexpected. Some people couldn't come to work at Rutgers because they can't fill up their cars to make the commute. Some 20,000 people are still stranded in Hoboken, Atlantic City, and other New Jersey communities. These problems are being resolved with each passing hour but many challenges remain. Most of the East River tunnels between Brooklyn and Manhattan had been flooded. They were able to drain the Clark Street (No. 2 and 3 trains) and the Steinway tube (No. 7 train) but the Joralemon and Rutgers tubes, the two most heavily used, are still flooded ((Source)) NYU and Bellevue Hospitals in midtown had to be evacuated. Most of southern Manhattan below 38th street remain dark.

    Wise
    Reminds me of my days living in Frelinghuysen dorm on 6th floor, river side (65-66), we had a (much briefer) big power failure that effected NYC all the way out to New Brunswick back then but I was AB then and could just run up and down stairway. Hope things are back to normal "on the banks of the old Raritan."

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