The latest on Hurricane Sandy (UPDATE: Most classes to resume Wednesday)
Stay updated and find out what you need to know in order to be prepared.
See yesterday’s updates after the jump, and we’ll continue to update throughout the day.
7:05 p.m.: Debora Spar’s official statement:
As we all know by now, the effects of Hurricane Sandy have been devastating to New York City and much of the East Coast. We were fortunate at Barnard and in Morningside Heights to have weathered the storm fairly well, but the same cannot be said of many of our faculty, staff and students–as well as family members and friends–who live in other parts of the nation and Caribbean and are still flooded, without power, or otherwise suffering Sandy’s effects. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
I want to express our collective thanks to the tireless staff members in Facilities, Public Safety, Residence Life, Dining Services and other departments who worked around the clock and away from their families, some sleeping for only a few hours on cots, to secure our campus and provide essential services to our students. Their professionalism is simply outstanding, and we couldn’t be more appreciative. I’d also like to thank the members of our emergency management team, who monitored and responded to the storm diligently, and kept us all informed.
Barnard will be open tomorrow, October 31, and for the rest of the week on a limited basis. Classes will resume as scheduled to the extent that members of the faculty can get to campus, but events and activities are cancelled unless you receive notification otherwise. Because mass transit is not yet fully up and running, we ask that you remain flexible in case plans change at the last minute. Students, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Dean’s Office at 212-854-2024.
All faculty and staff are encouraged to return to campus beginning tomorrow, but only if it is safe and reasonable to do so. Additional information for faculty and staff will be sent separately.
Please stay safe, and we thank you for your patience and cooperation as our city and country move forward.
5:26 p.m.: Kevin Shollenberger has also sent an email regarding the resumption of classes tomorrow:
As our city and region recover from the serious impact of Hurricane Sandy, the University will begin resuming classes tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31.
We know that transportation within the five boroughs and wider metropolitan area will remain a challenge for several days to come and that there will inevitably be some faculty and staff who may have special difficulty reaching our campuses. Please be alert for updates from your professors regarding individual class schedules and cancellations.
Due to transportation issues, there is limited custodial staff on campus. Please continue to contact the Hospitality Desk for any custodial or maintenance concerns in your residence hall. Until custodial services are able to return to their regular schedules, please be respectful of your neighbors and living space with regard to the disposal of trash. We ask that you be patient while we work to get all services and programs back up and running.
Please note the following campus services updates:
- The Lamont and Ft. Lee shuttle service and Intercampus shuttles are currently suspended until further notice.
- Columbia Health Medical Services and Counseling and Psychological Services will resume regular office hours on Wednesday, October 31.
- Lerner Hall will operate according to normal business hours on Wednesday, October 31, open at 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Offices within the building will also resume regular business office hours.
- All offices within Columbia Student Affairs will resume regular office hours on Wednesday, October 31.
- John Jay Dining Hall will be open on Wednesday, October 31, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. All retail dining facilities will remain closed until further notice. All meal plan and non-meal plan students (pay cash or credit card) are accepted. Please check the Columbia Dining website for additional updates.
- University Libraries on the Morningside campus will resume operations on Wednesday, October 31, with limited staff.
We will continue to provide service announcements as necessary at: http://preparedness.columbia.edu/alerts/sandy7
More after the jump!
5:18 p.m.: The Huffington post is keeping an updated list of ways you can help.
4:34 p.m.: Classes resuming tomorrow. See the University’s email below.
UNIVERSITY STATEMENT REGARDING RESUMPTION OF CLASSES
FOR WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 31, 2012
As our city and region recover from the serious impact of Hurricane Sandy, the University will begin resuming classes tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31, with the following exceptions:
- The Mailman School of Public Health on the Medical Center campus will not hold classes;
- On the Morningside Campus, the School of Continuing Education and the School of the Arts graduate classes will not be held, but undergraduate classes in the School of the Arts will meet.
We know that transportation within the five boroughs and wider metropolitan area will remain a challenge for several days to come and that there will inevitably be some students, faculty and staff who may have special difficulty reaching our campuses. We want to emphasize that everyone whose families, homes and neighborhoods have been severely affected by the storm have our full support in attending to their needs on the home front in the days ahead.
We are fortunate to have large populations of students, faculty and staff living in, or within close walking distance of, our campus communities, which escaped significant damage from the storm. Our students will only benefit by beginning to reengage in the purposeful work that brings our University community – and our City–together each day.
Administrative and support staff should report to work on Wednesday. If that presents difficulties, please contact your supervisor. Faculty members and teaching assistants who cannot reach campus tomorrow should try to follow normal procedures to inform their students that a particular class will not be held, as they would do with other instances such as missing class due to illness. Teaching assistants should follow the same protocol in regard to recitation sections or other academic sessions. To be sure, we appreciate that because of flooding and power outages elsewhere, it may sometimes be impossible to alert students of a class cancellation.
We encourage faculty members to be flexible and creative in making provision for students who may themselves not be able to reach campus, such as providing class materials including notes from lectures and discussions. Please do not hesitate to contact your deans and department chairs for more information and guidance, if needed.
We will continue to update the University community about the status of activities and operations depending largely on decision-making by State and City about travel and transit conditions. For example, because of limited staffing, we can expect that some campus services will be reduced this week.
It is also worth note that this coming Monday and Tuesday remain scheduled University holidays.
With patience, understanding and flexibility, the University can move forward with the rest of our City and region in reestablishing our daily lives and work in the days ahead.
4:19 p.m.: UTS will also be closed.
4:10 p.m.: JTS and Teachers College have canceled classes for tomorrow.
4:05 p.m.: An email from Jennifer Wisdom to GS students:
With the worse of Sandy on the tail end, we are now in the process of clean up and repair. While many GS’ers around the Morningside Heights area were fortunate to keep power and water on, this is not the case for our classmates who have lost power in evacuation zones, downtown, and throughout areas of Brooklyn and Queens. Because GS students do not have on-campus housing, it seems we, along with graduate students and faculty, will be feeling the effects of Sandy the most now and in the coming days. We are also further from Columbia University, and with subway damage high, some will need to be physically closer to campus in order to make it to class (midterms are still happening, after all!). Those students who needed to evacuate from their homes are now forced to pay for a hotel until they can return. So, help us help you.
For those students who have a place for friends or fellow GS’ers to take a shower, charge their phone, or stay on the couch or an air bed until power comes back on, please fill out this google form so we can be easily accessible. If you know any students or alumni who have offered up their place re: facebook or twitter, please refer them to this list.
For those GS’ers or family of GS’ers that need a place to stay until power comes back on or until it is safe to go back to your home, please refer to the list above. Already, five have offered up their homes. GS is your extended family, so again, let us help you.
One more important note – I will send time-sensitive updates in a separate email about the 3rd Annual Military Ball as soon as I receive word on the status of Pier Sixty (it was in an evacuation zone.)
Our hearts go out to those who have experienced loss or damage as a result of Sandy. If there is anything further you feel GSSC can do on our end, please do not hesitate to contact us.
4:02 p.m.: Interested in helping the city clean up? Email your name, email address, and borough to email@example.com to sign up to help out.
3:59 p.m.: Design editor Maya Fegan reports that it’s “business as usual” in Butler. Photos by Maya Fegan.
3:48 p.m.: It appears that Havana Central will indeed be open for dinner today, starting at 4:30 p.m.
3:46 p.m.: From twitter: @JohnJayHall: “Thank You Card Party in JJ lounge at 8pm. Show your appreciation to Dining, Public Safety, and Facilities for feeding us and keeping us safe ”
3:25 p.m.: Partial MTA bus service will also be at no cost, beginning at 5 p.m.
3:17 p.m.: Intercampus shuttle service is back. The MTA is also reporting that there will be partial bus service by 5 p.m.
3:06 p.m.: Yeah, that Oren’s line is pretty long. Check out more photos from before, during, and after Sandy at spc.me/W0Hfxh.
2:56 p.m.: In case you missed it, according to Student Affairs, Columbia Health Urgent Care Services will remain open until 4 p.m. today. CAVA will also be taking calls. Lerner will be open until 1 a.m. Butler will remain open, but only as a study space.
2:50 p.m.: The AP reports that 39 people have died as a result of Sandy.
2:43 p.m.: Bwog’s got a nice list of open stores, including: Hungarian Pastry Shop, Roti Roll, Taqueria, Thai Market, Silver Moon, Vine, Tea Magic, Ollie’s, Tom’s, Ricky’s, Book Culture, Ivy League Stationers, University Hardware and Housewares, International, Mel’s, and The Heights. If you’re brunchin’, looks like you’re covered.
2:32 p.m.: Via Eva Kalikoff, a smashed car at
110th 100th between Amsterdam and Columbus
2:31 p.m.: Absolute is also closed. You’ll have to get your bagels elsewhere.
2:26 p.m.: Update from daily editor Sara Garner: Pinkberry, Il Cibreo, Nussbaum, Community, Starbucks, Five Guys, Mill Korean, and Chipotle are all closed. There are long lines at Deluxe and Oren’s, and Koronet, Famiglia, and Maoz are open.
2:20 p.m.: City news deputy Casey Tolan has been out and about this morning, sending pictures from his Twitter:
An awning is down at 107th and Broadway.
1:48 p.m.: My Upper West has a list of stores that are open.
1:42 p.m.: Fallen tree by Wien being removed. Photo by Nelson Castaño.
12:31 p.m.: The University has released another update, this time telling us that Wednesday classes are “now being evaluated in light of State and City decision-making about transit and other essential services.” The statement promises another update later this afternoon.
12:12 p.m.: NYU has already canceled classes for tomorrow.
11:30 a.m.: Mayor Bloomberg has just said that all public transportation will remain closed until further notice. Chairman Joseph Lhota of the MTA won’t provide a specific timetable for the return of subway services. There may be limited bus service tonight. Taxis are allowed to pick up multiple passengers at once. NYC public schools will remain closed tomorrow.
12:20 a.m.: CNN says that Sandy has caused 11 deaths in the United States so far, and one in Canada.
11:32 p.m.: Lights are flickering all over the place. Also, the subways downtown — between Manhattan and Brooklyn — have flooded, so don’t count on perfect subway service anytime in the next couple of days.
11:11 p.m.: According to Twitter, Columbia’s/Barnard’s dining staff slept over just so we could eat! Be sure to say thank you when you’re picking up your food tomorrow!
10:41 p.m.: Power flashes in River, according to sports editor Myles Simmons. Lights also flickering in Barnard’s 616, according to Caroline Lange.
10:32 p.m.: From SIPA prof Ben Orlove’s story on CNN:
As we turned to leave the park, I looked back at the river, still ebbing rapidly. I knew that the tides would turn and the storm arrive in full fury. And I thought of the most vulnerable structure in Manhattan, the sea wall at the southern tip of the island. This wall, which protects the city’s subways from flooding, is nine feet high, usually a firm bulwark. But it faces three forces that bring waters higher. The tides are the first, and the second is the water pushed coastward by storms. The third is climate change.
10:28 p.m: In case you missed it: No taxis out—Bloomberg says he has ordered them off the roads.
10:26 p.m.: Harlem NY is reporting “lots of fallen trees at 125th and Amsterdam,” including this photo:
10:22 p.m.: Received word from John Carlos Estrada, Journalism ’13, that Amsterdam is blocked off between 111th and 113th.
10:16 p.m.: News editor Finn Vigeland reports that he has been locked out of his room while the Watt alarm goes off.
10:10 p.m.: Editorial page editor Lanbo Zhang reports that the Watt fire alarm is going off.
10:04 p.m.: Bloomberg says surge will recede by midnight.
10:02 p.m.: Mayor Bloomberg currently updating live on storm’s progress. El Bloombito returns!
9:54 p.m.: Wondering what that downed tree at 115th and Broadway looked like? Courtesy of Nelson Castaño (who is a member of Spec’s editorial board), here’s a pic:
9:50 p.m.: From Jane Kim: One McBain 8 resident is making sure their windows are ready for the storm.
9:48 p.m.: Barnard Public Safety just sent out an email to students with several safety pointers. Note point 4:
4. If you live in the Quad and are going to dine in the Hewitt Cafe, you may use the Sulzberger basement door that leads into the tunnel instead of having to go outside and in through Barnard Hall. This door will be locked again on Wednesday, but we want you to be able to access the cafeteria without having to go outside.
To translate: Quadsters, you don’t need to go outside for the next two days.
9:44 p.m.: Spectrum daily editor Darron Kinney, reporting from Schapiro 12, says he’s “99% sure” that his next-door neighbor left her window open: “it sounds like howling wolves next door.” He also says his wall moved. Meanwhile, editorial board member Nelson Castaño tells us a kitchen window has broken in Plimpton.
9:36 p.m.: LeeLee Borzak tells us via Facebook that there’s a window out on the sixth floor of Elliot.
9:33 p.m.: To the people running outside of EC and yelling “hurricane,” please stay safe!
9:18 p.m.: New updates from preparedness.columbia.edu. Lots of closed gates: South and North Pedestrian Gates on College Walk (Main Gates remain open); Chapel Gate; Earl Hall Gate; 120th Street gate; Wien Double large gates (the pedestrian gate remains open.) There’s also no shuttle service, and Butler is still open.
9:12 p.m.: Receiving word that power’s out in many NYU dorms. Former Spectator editor in chief and current Bloomberg News reporter Nick Summers just posted this view from downtown—lots of lights out.
8:55 p.m.: The Daily Princetonian is reporting that Princeton is switching to generator power.
8:51 p.m.: @simmonsclass tells us there’s a tree down at 115th and Broadway, spanning two lanes.
According to news deputy Jillian Kumagai, who “just took a peek onto Broadway,” “it’s pretty crazy: flying debris + overturned trash can rolling around in the middle of the st.”
8:33 p.m.: Spectrum Deputy Sara Garner confirms the Wien window’s broken on the first-floor lounge. Copy editor Caroline Lange reports that a window’s also broken in the Barnard Quad.
8:30 p.m.: CUArts update via Facebook: TIC will be open tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
8:24 p.m.: Business Insider reports that a building has collapsed at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street.
8:21 p.m.: We’ve received a tip that a window in Wien has broken in. Waiting to confirm.
8:13 p.m.: More updates from EIC Sarah Darville, on EC’s 20th floor: “Ceiling paint falling down from being waterlogged.”
8:11 p.m.: According to the National Hurricane Center, Sandy has made landfall near Atlantic City.
8:01 p.m.: Our fearless editor in chief reports that water is coming into her EC windows on the 20th floor. Meanwhile, the Weather Channel reports that there are gusts of up to 79 mph at JFK, and 78 mph at Newark.
6:19 p.m.: New York magazine’s got our favorite summary of Bloomberg’s address: “In sum: Stay inside, try to relax, don’t go being macho and running into the water.”
5:51 p.m.: Mayor Bloomberg is currently addressing New Yorkers. Watch live below:
5:06 p.m.: Senior Staff Photographer Ayelet Pearl has sent us photos from the rest of the city:
4:36: Intrepid photographer Jillian Kumagai ventured out to get these photographs of the destruction
4:27 p.m. In what may be a favorable sign from above, Apocalypse Now: A Conversation with Karen Thompson Walker has been cancelled. The Apocalypse has been cancelled, people!
4:11 p.m.: For those of you who didn’t stock up before International closed: we just got confirmation from both 1020 and The Heights that they’ll be open til 3 a.m. or later.
4:05 p.m.: What are you doing to weather the storm (LOL)? But seriously, tell us how you’re keeping busy in the comments or tweet at us @cuspectrum and we’ll include our favorites in an upcoming update!
3:44 p.m.: Tree in front of Le Monde already down.
2:50 p.m: Wondering where to go to stock up for tomorrow’s day off? Absolute Bagels, Westside, Morton Williams, Oren’s, KFC, Koronet, M2M , D’Ag, and Milano are all open!
But, Cascabel, Le Monde, Five Guys, Chipotle, Community, Mill Korean, Nussbaum & Wu, Maoz, Famiglia, Starbucks, and Haagen-Dazs are all closed. International is closed as well, so we hope you got all supplies for your super 2-day hurricane party early!
1:51 p.m.: Columbia has cancelled all classes and events for Tuesday, October 30th.
1:18 p.m.: NYU has cancelled Tuesday classes.
1:10 p.m.: According to its website, Barnard has canceled Tuesday classes and events. All non-essential offices will be closed as well.
12:53 p.m.: Columbia has released another update, this one telling us that “the status of classes and operations for Tuesday (10/30) is now being evaluated in light of State and City decisionmaking about transit and other essential services.” As we told you earlier, the MTA will be closed at least through Tuesday morning. There should be a final decision about Tuesday’s classes sometime this afternoon.
12:45 p.m.: Obama to address nation on Sandy:
11:54 a.m.: Bloomberg address recap:
MTA to be closed at least through Tuesday morning, and as a result public schools are closed on Tuesday as well. Bloomberg stated, “There’s no chance that mass transit will be back in time to serve people” in regard to school children. It is unclear as to whether the MTA will be closed the rest of Tuesday.
Surge will occur at 8 p.m. tonight. Bloomberg urged everyone to stay off the streets if at all possible. Bloomberg: “The real flooding is going to come tonight.”
10:28 p.m.: Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger and Dean of Advising Monique Rinere are currently on overnight shifts in Lerner Hall. Members of the Emergency Management Operations Team will be there in shifts throughout the evening and Monday, spokesperson Katherine Cutler confirms.
9:28 p.m.: Thanks to your suggestions, we’ve got our Hurricane Playlist. Give it a listen and let us know what we’re missing!
9:15 p.m.: Crucial updates: Koronet’s staff say they’re not planning to close before 2, and 1020 will be open until last call, unless it loses power, according to a bartender.
8:05 p.m.: We’re soliciting suggestions for our Hurricane Playlist. Tweet @ColumbiaSpec or leave suggestions in the comments. Dean Kevin Shollenberger has given us “Stormy Weather” as sung by Etta James, and State Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell suggested Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.” We’ll share it on Spotify later! (If the power doesn’t go out.)
7:05 p.m.: The last 1 trains have departed their termini. Meanwhile, student reactions to canceling classes tomorrow, via news writer Cecilia Reyes:
Alexandra Orth, SEAS ’15, called it “fall break number one!” But for John Chiang, a graduate student in SEAS, it’s upsetting to push back the midterm he had scheduled for tomorrow. “I wasn’t quite ready for it, but then, I don’t really want it to haunt me for longer than it should,” he said.
Diego Zoghbi, CC ’14, had an entertaining story about how he learned of the inclement weather: ”I was woken up this morning by my mom’s very perseverant phone calls. She lives in Texas and we’re from South America. She’s Latina and very overly dramatic about everything, so she called and called and called and she woke me up and I was still very hung over so she freaked me out and told me to flee the city.” Zoghbi was clutching two full Westside Market bags. “It’s kind of scary, it really hit when I went to Westside and everyone’s there: there’s a line to get in, there’s no bread, and everyone’s stocking up on water and people are taking it really seriously,” he said.
4:01 p.m.: Updates to building closing times:
- Butler circulation will close at 6 p.m., but 24-hour reading rooms (meaning the building itself) will remain open.
- Cafe 212 will close at 5 p.m.
- All the information you need for Columbia dining services and hours for the next few days.
- Barnard Library will close at 6 p.m. It will reopen on Tuesday.
3:43 p.m.: Some more of the insanity at D’Ag:
3:37 p.m.: Kevin Shollenberger has sent an email with all the current updates regarding facilities:
Please be aware for the following campus updates:
- Columbia Dining facilities will remain open, however, service hours and locations are subject to change. Please check the Columbia Dining website regularly for important updates.
- Columbia Health will be available with limited staffing. Please check the Columbia Health website for hours of operation and other important updates.
- Alfred Lerner Hall will remain open until 1:00 a.m. The University will not be able to fulfill catering and audiovisual services for any programming scheduled after 5:00 p.m. on Sunday evening.
- In case of a potential power outage, RAs and Residential Life staff in all residential buildings will be available to keep you informed, including recommended safety precautions and, if necessary, changes to services. Please be patient as the chain of communication reaches your area should electronic means of communicating become unavailable.
- Please check your individual school websites for other important updates and cancellations.
And suggestions on how to prepare:
- Charge mobile and electronic devices.
- Dining facilities will remain open, but you may wish to stock up on bottled water and nonperishables.
- Make sure all windows are closed securely.
- Please turn off computers, lights, and other electronic equipment.
- Electrical or valuable items should be moved off the floor and away from windows.
Nussbaum will be closing today at 5 p.m., so if you’re planning on locking yourself in your room under a pile of bagels, you better head over.
In other food/hurricane news, the lines at both Westside and D’Agostino are going somewhat haywire. Here’s what you’ll be up against if you head to the latter (but if you’re looking for canned tuna, you’re out of luck—the aisle has been “decimated”):
12:39 p.m.:The University has canceled Monday classes and events on all campuses, according to Columbia’s website.
“We urge members of the Columbia community to stay informed about conditions, exercise caution if travel is necessary, and to remain indoors if possible in light of predicted high winds and heavy rains,” the preparedness page on the website reads.
12:21 p.m.: We don’t yet know if school is cancelled, but all signs point to yes. Subways, buses, and railroads will close as of 7 p.m. tonight, and NYU, Penn, and Princeton have announced that classes tomorrow will be cancelled and exchanged for nap time.
Other than calling all of your friends over for a giant hurricane party, here’s what you need to do to get ready for the storm that will likely hit tomorrow or Tuesday:
- Charge your phone
- Close your windows
- Go into hibernation and avoid leaving your room
- Find out the plan for your building in case of power outage
- Go to Westside and load up on water, snacks, and meals in case dining halls and the rest of MoHi closes
Let us know in the comments what you’ll be doing if classes get cancelled, your Netflix Instant picks, and tips for having an awesome hurricane party.
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