The Duncan Banner

October 29, 2012

Storm Sandy slams East Coast

Oklahoma couple take refuge in SoHo district

Toni Hopper
The Duncan Banner

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Sitting in a hotel on the eighth floor in the dark, Kori Nix, said she can feel the building shaking and says the Super Storm Sandy is “loud.”

Electricity for most of New York City went out just after 8 p.m., she said, about the time, she and husband, Jaron, were finishing their buffet meal, along with hundreds of other guests at the Holiday Inn in the Manhattan SoHo district late Monday night.

“It’s very loud outside, our room faces north,” she said. “The building has been shaking. We can feel the wall shaking, from the wind and how hard it’s pushing the rain. It’s pushing water through the cracks.”

Kori is the daughter of Kreg and Donna Murphree of Duncan. She and Jaron were married in Duncan just over a month ago and were heading into NYC to depart on a cruise Wednesday for their honeymoon. The couple flew into NYC on Saturday because they were told it was the only way they could get into the city this week. When they first booked in, they had a room on the third floor, but on Monday, they were able to move up to their previously booked room on the eighth floor.

It gives them a little bit of comfort, but climbing the 8 flight of stairs right after a meal wasn’t such a great feeling, she said.

Even though lights went out, she said the hotel’s generator is keeping the EXIT lights and stairwell lights active.

The newlyweds braved the oncoming storm Monday afternoon to venture away from their hotel to see what activity was happening in New York City. Jaron enjoys photography and he knew he could get some good images.

No sooner were they back in the hotel a few hours later, Storm Sandy intensified.

“Everyone seems in good spirit, everyone had a beer, but the hotel is on lockdown. No one can go in or out,” Kori said.

She said the hotel is on lockdown and no one can leave or enter. She said during the day, it was evident that the attitudes of everyone was changing as the dangerous storm pushed closer to the city.

“The police are on major patrol. They were everywhere when we were out getting pictures,” she said.

They are about 1.8 miles from the water, she believes.

In Glen Burnie, MD, former Duncan resident Jan Pipkin is also sitting it out with her family. She sent an email report to The Banner about 8 p.m.

 “We’ve had very heavy rain all day. The local weather report was saying we’ve received almost 4 inches. We’ve had heavy winds beginning late this afternoon. We have not lost power, but we have friends that have. We are experiencing lots of rain and heavy winds.”

And in Alexandria, WV, Laura Renenger, sister of April Canetto, a former director for United Way of Stephens County, shared the climate of the storm in her area. Renenger visits Duncan often, she said, and has friends here.

“I am very lucky. I still have power, but I have friends who have lost power. Ours has been flickering for the last three or four hours.” She said there are about 5,000 residents already without power in her city, and her biggest concern is the trees and power poles.

“I’m constantly hearing branches knocking down. I have a friend in D.C., who heard sirens and turned on the news to find out that a house a block from her had a tree crush the house. The winds are so severe.”

She’s also concerned about her car, which is parked under a power pole.

“We’re just watching the news constantly, as long as we have power,” she said. “At this point, we have food, candles, hurricane lanterns, because they are safer and we took our porch swing down.”

Renenger said there is a major concern that the storm is going to be worse than anticipated. Meanwhile, she’s trying to stay connected via facebook.