While Hurricane Katrina was whipping sustained winds of 86 mph through Miami Thursday night, students weathered the storm like pros. Few seemed worried about the storm, and most readied themselves for a night of fun, relaxation or both.
With classes cancelled Friday, sleeping was not high on most people’s priority list as they rode out Katrina. Hip-hop music could be heard blasting from rooms and loud laughter echoed through the halls of Pearson Residential College and Mahoney Residential College (MRC). Many resident students from all parts of the campus could be seen wandering the halls during the storm, meeting new people and finding things to do.
“We got to meet all the kids on our floor,” Kelly Asher, sophomore, said. After saying hello to all the new faces, she said she passed the time playing indoor Frisbee down the hall.
Students who had planned to party Thursday night weren’t about to let a hurricane get in the way. They brought the club scene indoors, setting up and dancing in the classrooms at MRC with a deejay and strobe lights.
“Yeah, it felt like a sweatshop in there,” Asher said. She said she spent about an hour there before heading back upstairs.
Jodi Silver, sophomore, and her friends broke out their musical instruments, including flute and keyboards, while the storm broke even the largest trees out of their roots all across campus.
“We just played music and we jammed,” Silver said.
Others stayed in their own rooms throughout the storm, listening to music, playing computer games and watching TV shows on DVDs. For some, like sophomore Jared Spooner, the real entertainment was outside; he watched the storm blow from his window.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. Many students experienced flooding in their dorms and spent the night trying to keep their belongings dry.
“I bailed water from my room [in Eaton Residential College],” Jon Levin, sophomore, said. “We had a half inch of flooding from the window. We picked everything up but it still ruined the carpet.”
The hurricane also brought some minor, but still bothersome, inconveniences.
“The fire alarm went off in the apartment and we were trying to turn it off,” Juan Carlos Matos, freshman, said.
For juniors Ida Waagen, Victoria Moehling and Dana Lindemann, the night was a bit quieter than Matos’s. Instead of muting fire alarms, they ignored the hurricane’s fury and turned their attention to their favorite TV show in their Eaton room.
“We watched Friends,” Waagen said. “You know, a couple of seasons [in DVD].”
“The whole time,” added Lindemann.
Because the dining halls were closed, they munched on the goodies in their snack boxes as they enjoyed their DVDs-that is, until the power went out. But the loss of electricity by no means put a halt to their evening.
“When the power went out, we told stories in the dark,” Moehling said.
Sam West can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.