Come on Irene; please spare New York City.
I'm witnessing the first time in history when the most densely populated city in the country is being shut down. All airports are closing, subways are being shutdown tomorrow, and there is the first mandatory evacuation in the entire history of New York City. After what was called a once-in-a-lifetime earthquake for this area that we experienced earlier this week, we are all wondering what will happen for New York City after this weekend.
We've been keeping our eyes on this storm all week, knowing it could get ugly. Many universities have chosen to evacuate their students, but FIT remains confident we will be okay to stay here. As the only students on campus currently are freshman, transfers and visiting students who are unfamiliar with the area and its normalcy, we already feel slightly more concerned with the situation. We just received notification via e-mail as what we should prepare to do this weekend, but there have been no faculty or administrators of any kind assuring us personally that we will be kept safe. Events continued as normal today. Some of our friends who have a place to go with family in safer areas have left already, but for a majority of us, we are at the mercy of the storm.
We remain hopeful that Irene will die down slowly and spare the coastline. Today a friend and I went down to the seaport area and out to Governor's Island, both areas which should be completely evacuated by tomorrow afternoon. Grocery stores were full of people and empty shelves. Water bottles were going for 6 for $18 at Trader Joe's. This is my first hurricane so I don't really know what to expect. But most people I have talked to do agree on one thing: they lived here all their life and heard the media hype over and over...but this time, something is different.
I'm sitting on my bed looking out over Chelsea neighborhood from 8 stories up. Listening to the sounds of the city and comforted by the glow of lights from buildings across the street, I wonder how different things could get if Irene does hit with a fury of a storm of the century. Fingers crossed and prayers going out to all along the east coast through the weekend.
Photos from today below.