October 31, 2012 by Skyler Paltell
As I’m blogging I’m sitting in front of the fireplace at home and watching cheesy Lifetime movies with my cat. No, it is not Fall Break, Thanksgiving, or any other school-sanctioned break—this is Hurrication 2.0. This weekend’s encounter with Hurricane Sandy is the second hurricane I have endured in the past year, but it certainly is not the only natural disaster I have experienced at W&M. First there was the earthquake last August, then Irene, this summer’s tornado scare, and now Sandy. The 2012 apocalypse really does not seem so far fetched after this year’s Williamsburg weather.
Fortunately I survived this hurricane a lot better than I did Irene last year. A little over a week into my freshman year, we were ordered to evacuate the campus with less than 24 hour’s notice. As an out-of-state student, I was absolutely flabbergasted. Amtrak had canceled all of their trains, my parents were too far away to pick me up, and I didn’t feel comfortable accepting a place in one of my new friends’ homes for an indefinite amount of time. I ended up “evacuating” to Virginia Beach—closer to the hurricane, mind you—to spend a quality six days with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. Ultimately, everything turned out fine, I bonded with my extended family, and returned to find the campus a little disheveled but otherwise fine. But the whole evacuation nightmare has given me a finely honed flight response in the event of a hurricane—my personal motto is “when in doubt, get the heck out”.
So when I was offered a ride to Union Station on Saturday, I didn’t even consider saying no. I was getting out of Williamsburg before this hurricane hit, regardless of Homecoming, classes, and adult responsibilities. One hour after getting the email that Monday’s classes were canceled, I was packed and in my friend’s car with Florence + the machine blaring. She drove me to another friend’s house, who then drove me to Union Station, where I caught a train that hit a deer and was shut down in the wilderness for emergency repairs. Five and a half hours after leaving Williamsburg, I was home for the second time in two weeks. It was beautiful.
The irony of the situation, of course, is that Baltimore ended up being more affected by Sandy than Williamsburg. I’ve been chillin’ with my Dad and my sister, while my Mom is stranded in Florida—definitely not a bad place to be right now. I myself am stranded at home until Wednesday evening, since all the train lines back to Williamsburg are canceled (thank you, Amtrak.) So basically it’s a second Fall Break. I love it.
As inconvenient as hurricanes are, the break has been a welcome reprieve from the madness that is my life at school. I’m returning tomorrow to Clue Week, which I’m so excited for! Then next week is sorority initiation, Gamma Phire, midterms, AMP, and tours. I love to be so busy, but it can be hard to manage so many things at once, especially while trying to get my gluten-free diet nailed down. I know I’m very fortunate to view this hurricane as a welcome break from school, while my friends in New York are worrying about whether or not their dorms have flooded.
Anyways, I hope everyone had a safe and shamelessly lazy Hurrication. It’s only a matter of time before the next one.