Students reflect on hurricane’s effects back home

Hurricane Irene hit close to home for some TCU students after it made landfall in the East.

The hurricane hit the shore Saturday in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm, according to the Associated Press. It swept through the Northeast, claiming at least 44 lives in 13 states and leaving behind a trail of damage and loss of power.

Jimmy Cummings, a first year early childhood education major, said his family in Massachusetts took precautions, but they did not have plans to evacuate.

He said he was leery being away from home for the first time and not knowing what was going on.

“That part was kind of scary because I wasn’t with my family and didn’t know how they were doing,” Cummings said.

The roles were reversed for a while, Cummings said. Instead of his parents calling to check on him at school, he was calling them to make sure everything was okay at home.

“I’m texting them every couple of hours, making sure the house isn’t lifted off the ground,” Cummings said.

Irene could cost an estimated $5 billion to $7 billion in damages, according to The Vancouver Sun.

Shelby Summers, a senior nutritional sciences major, said her house in North Carolina lost a few shingles from the roof and her family lost a few huge trees in the yard.

“You can never really prepare for any kind of natural disaster like that,” Summers said. “The thing that is going to prepare us the most is just knowing what has happened in the past.”

Summers said she was not really worried because the media sometimes make it seem like a bigger deal than it really is.

Transportation was at a standstill in New York as officials shut down subways Saturday, which included the Long Island Rail Road, according to The New York Times.

Bennet Hickok, a freshman international economics major from Pennsylvania, said his brother was late for his first day of graduate school because the transportation shut down in New York.

Irene downgraded Sunday from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm as it made its way toward New England and Canada.

Kate Syme, a senior early childhood education major, said Irene had been downgraded by the time it hit her family’s home in Virginia. The Symes were left without power for a day because of the wind.

“I wasn’t really worried about it,” Syme said. ”I think the media made a big deal, and it wasn’t as devastating in our area as in other parts.”

Clean up and damage assessment will continue this week throughout the Eastern Seaboard, according to The Washington Post.