NEW YORK -- A student activities center at New York University turned into a haven for storm refugees Wednesday, as dozens of students huddled on stairs and sofas to charge their phones and computers and reconnect with their families.
NYU has canceled classes until Monday and ordered students to evacuate about half a dozen high-rise dorms in Greenwich Village because of the blackout in Lower Manhattan.
The university said it would relocate 6,000 students from dorms where power and water were out, and fire safety and other emergency systems were no longer working. They were moved to other NYU dorms around the city and to the Kimmel Center, across from the arch and greenery of Washington Square South, where cots were set up.
Aleka Raju, an 18-year-old NYU freshman from India, had her mom in Bangalore surf travel websites to book her into one of the few remaining hotel rooms in Midtown.
“My parents are a little worried back home,” said Raju, sitting on the steps in Kimmel, the student center.
“They didn’t expect anything like this in New York.”
Manuel Macias, an NYU sophomore who grew up in Miami, said he was well practiced in hurricane preparedness and didn’t plan on leaving his dorm. It lacked power but hadn’t been evacuated as of Wednesday afternoon.
Before the hurricane hit, he bought 72 bottles of water and armfuls of Pop Tarts, Lunchables and other snacks to get him through whatever lies ahead.
“My family knew that as long as we survived the storm itself, I could handle the aftermath,” Macias said.