By Tony Wittkowski | Senior Reporter | Central Michigan Life
Several Central Michigan University global campuses along the east coast have been closed temporarily due to violent weather caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Locations affected by the hurricane that swept the coastal region include Aberdeen, Fort Meade and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Fort Belvoir, Fort Lee and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, Fort Hamilton in New York and the global campus location in the Pentagon.
At Fort Hamilton, the damage was kept to a minimum, with only downed power lines and stranded tree branches littered across the town.
“Traffic lights are out and there is a lot of debris,” said Sharon Hall, the program administrator at Fort Hamilton. “Since this campus is along the highway, a lot of the water and sand has come across the highway. We are slowly getting back to normal.”
Hall said this is something she had never experienced before.
“We are currently in a cleanup process,” she said. “We have a lot of power outages and flooding. Yesterday was a time for people to get slowly back to normal.”
Fort Hamilton held classes on its regular weekend format, but the employees were not asked to come into the office on Monday. Students are not supposed to report until Friday.
Fort Belvoir was out of power into Wednesday afternoon, with only essential personnel allowed on the premises. After being closed earlier in the week, Fort Belvoir has remained closed.
“This morning, about 65 percent was without power on base,” said Mary Pat Maybeus, program administrator at Fort Belvoir. “In the late afternoon, more power was opened up, but for emergency personnel only.”
While on vacation in Germany, Fort Meade’s Program Administrator Linda Zedan heard about the hurricane making its way to the east coast last week. With the various centers in Washington, D.C., Meade was affected; however Zedan was able to return to the United States before the airports closed.
“I’ve been on vacation for two weeks from Germany,” Zedan said. “If we had left Germany a day or two later we would have been stranded because they were canceling flights.”
Fort Meade was closed on Monday and Tuesday, while sending a notice to its students of the procedure.
Fort Meade offers one course per term, encompassing 12 or 13 students this semester. The weather got bad Monday afternoon and continued through the night. It rained a lot and there was a lot of wind, however no major damage other than power outages and downed trees were reported around the area, Zedan said.
Fort Lee was only supposed to have a two-hour delay but closed early afternoon Monday and reopened on Tuesday, said Program Administrator Shana Demby.
“There was a lot of rain and a lot of wind,” Demby said. “Classes were on the weekend, so it did not affect anyone.”
Despite the harsh wind and abundance of rain, there has been no damage reported so far.
“We got the brunt of everything starting Monday afternoon,” Demby said in regards to the center shutting down an extra day.
Aberdeen was still closed on Wednesday due to inclement weather since its closing on Monday. Almost all centers and global campuses expect to be open for weekend classes.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 1, 2012)