This week has been consumed by Sandy and its aftermath. Because Lamont remains without normal electrical power, and many of our staff still face multiple challenges at home, it is appropriate to offer only a short and focused report.
Despite widespread devastation and major disruption to many, there are no reports that any in the immediate Lamont family suffered injury or worse as a result of the hurricane. We can be collectively thankful of that outcome, even as we share grief for neighbors lost and sympathy for the many now without homes or immediate livelihoods.
The damage wreaked to coastal neighborhoods, to transportation systems, and to the utilities infrastructure has been staggering, and the rebuilding efforts will consume many months. We can draw some small comfort by the public acknowledgement by New York City’s Major and New York’s Governor that we are faced by the reality of climate change and the likelihood that major weather events like Sandy will increase in frequency and severity over levels of the last century, and that we must plan mitigation efforts accordingly.
On our own campus, the slow return to normalcy is the product of long hours by the staff of our Buildings and Grounds Office. To Pat O’Reilly, Dick Greco, Lenny Sullivan, and their entire crew, all of Lamont extends to you our deepest appreciation for your sustained efforts to clear roads and pathways, maintain emergency power and electronic communication, and begin the process of restoring our capability to operate laboratories, offices, and meeting rooms and to meet obligations in the field and with our myriad distant collaborators. When we are squarely back on our collective feet, we owe all of you our grateful thanks and a great party.