Tuesday Oct. 30 was different for everyone. Cities along the southern east coast were given a look at the damage from Sandy, the West Virginia mountains were experiencing blizzard conditions and the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were scenes of absolute devastation.
Castleton was a different story, as the sun shone brightly all day, despite the classes that had been cancelled as a precaution.
It was a strange scene, hearing reports of unthinkable ruin just a few hundred miles south as Facebook statuses of Castleton students kept popping up, claiming what a lame storm Sandy was and how Castleton had really blown it.
“What a joke,” you could hear them say. Many people even chose to focus on the one or two “Day After Tomorrow” Photoshopped pictures, using them as proof that nothing impressive actually happened.
News flash people, this was the biggest storm in the last 100 years, Katrina included. This was an absolute natural disaster of unreal proportions. The actual photos of the damage up and down the coast are genuinely terrifying. That a body of weather that large can bring destruction that complete is something not to be taken lightly.
So why did so many in Castleton and the surrounding areas take it so? It almost seems as if they were disappointed we didn’t get hit. Just last year, the damage brought on by Irene, which was Baby’s First Storm compared to Sandy, spawned a series of “I Am Vermont Strong” bumper stickers.
How quickly we forget.
In case you don’t believe this was everything it’s being told to be, here’s a list in no particular order of some damages: A Staten Island couple’s house of almost 20 years was blown away. Houses in Mantoloking N.J. have become islands, many of them submerged in the ocean. One hundred houses in Queens were destroyed by a fire, on top of the flooding. Eight million people were without power initially, and many may still be when this goes to print two weeks later. The total cost of the storm is estimated to be $50 billion, but that estimate is expected to climb significantly.
Shouldn’t we have been thanking our lucky stars that we didn’t get hit? The storm tore a path of destruction more than 500 miles long and for some reason cut away from Vermont after doing a small amount of electrical damage to Bennington.
If this storm had hit, forget ski season. Forget the nice little skate park and rail set by Ellis. Forget the newly fixed Glenbrook athletic complex, and many of us could have forgotten our cars too. And that would all be child’s play compared to the damage in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
Usually an editorial has two sides, but there is no other side to this. The callous reaction to what is being dubbed a SuperStorm and the fact that people lost homes and lives to it was disgusting. It may be two weeks after the fact now, but people will be feeling this storm and rebuilding from it for months and years. It could be you in that situation, but instead, all we got was a day off classes.
And people still complained.