April showers may bring May flowers, but the second weekend in March meant bad news for much of the Northeast as record rainfall caused many problems, particularly on campus at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.
On the evening of Saturday, March 13th, power outages forced students out of the Netherlands Housing Complex for the night. Hofstra’s Public Safety personnel performed room checks to ensure all students were out of their dormitories quickly and safely. With nowhere to sleep, the university provided pillows and blankets for the students and cleared the Netherlands Cafeteria so the stranded undergrads could use it as a sleeping area.
“I wanted to go home for the night, but my parents didn’t have any power either,” said Corey Cross-Hansen, a freshman student from Massapequa, NY. Massapequa also experienced substantial power outages as did several other towns across Long Island. “I decided to sleep over at a friend’s dorm. I needed a mattress to sleep on.”
Hofstra’s campus was littered with uprooted trees, turning a simple drive around the campus grounds into a dangerous decision. Luckily for students and faculty, the bulk of the storm experienced on Long Island prevailed through the weekend and concluded on Sunday night, preventing students from losing any time in the classroom once classes resumed on Monday.
“It’s been crazy out here, but I wouldn’t have minded another day off,” said Cross-Hansen on the possibility of losing a third academic day. Hofstra had already canceled two days of class on Thursday, February 10th and Friday, February 26th because of two huge snow storms that blanketed the Northeast last month. In fact, the storm in early February made the commute to and on campus so difficult that morning classes on Friday, February 11th were canceled as well, creating a half day for students. Losing an entire third day of class surely would have made it difficult for students and faculty to maintain their academic schedules and complete all of their required work in time for the end of the semester.
The torrential rains and high gusts of wind throughout the weekend made traveling dangerous not only at Hofstra but all across Long Island. Wind speeds were reported to be as high as 40 miles per hour over the weekend and ranged from 4.5 to 6 inches. Said Cross-Hansen about the high accumulations of precipitation and snowfall they’ve been receiving in the area over the past month and a half, “Either Al Gore is right about global warming, or the Mayans are right about 2012. Take your pick.”