Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I hope that you are all well and safe. All of us on the Seminary grounds are fine.
With this email, we faculty members, administrators, and student officials, who met early this afternoon, are trying to reach as many members of the General community as possible: mostly those of you who are off campus, but also those on campus who are lucky enough to access the web. Will you please help us to reach as many as possible by forwarding, re-posting to Facebook and other social media sites, and tweeting the following information? Will you also please make calls to those who still have phone access? Thank you.
The storm knocked out our power just before 10:00 last night. As far as we can tell, our blackout was not an intentional power-down by ConEd but was caused by the explosion of underground equipment. Most of Manhattan below 31st Street is without electricity. Reports of when it will be restored range from one day to five.
Without electricity, we have no landline or internet service. The only internet and phone connectivity on Chelsea Square is by cell and smartphones. Unfortunately, cell towers in the area are greatly compromised. Please, therefore, do not expect to reach residents of Chelsea Square by mobile phone or email. Reception is spotty at best. I have come to Midtown for electricity and an internet connection.
The subway system is entirely closed, as are the suburban rail lines. Many tunnels are flooded and bridges are closed. The MTA, Port Authority, and other agencies plan to restore underground and surface rail service in stages. No official timeline has been announced, however, and unofficial ones vary greatly.
New York City schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday.
Here are notes from the meeting held this afternoon by us leaders.
- GTS will be closed for the rest of the week. Our regular schedule will resume with Morning Prayer on Monday, 5 November. If you are not resident on the Close, please do not come in until then.
- Assignments due this week and next will instead be due during the week beginning 12 November. Exams scheduled for that period will be similarly rescheduled.
- Residents and those who MUST come to Chelsea Square should access the property through the lobby of Chelsea Enclave, 177 Ninth Avenue. Our thanks to our Enclave neighbors for allowing us passage. This is also the address to be given to emergency personnel (whom we hope, of course, will not be needed).
- Simple meals will be served in the Refectory until Friday: Breakfast, 8:00-10:00; Lunch, noon-2:00.
- We will not have heat or hot water until power is restored. Those who have places to stay offsite may want to move there until things at General return to normal.
- A generator-powered phone and laptop charging station has been set up in the reception area at the 21st Street gate.
- A number of flashlight are being stored there for residents to use, and others are being spread across the campus, especially at entrances and stairwells.
- Mr. Khani and his colleagues are setting up high-power generator-driven lighting on the Close to illuminate the walks.
- We on the Close will communicate with one another by posting notes on the mailroom bulletin board, ground level of Moore at the 21st Street gate. Official notices will be posted by 10:00 and 3:00 each day. Unofficial notices can be posted by anyone anytime.
- We are working to secure ice for those whose medications must be keep cold. Our thanks to our friends at the hotel for helping us. Look for information on the bulletin board.
- The library will be open during the hiatus. Watch for posted hours of opening. Remember that electronic media will not be accessible.
- A task group has been set up to find ways to provide hot showers. Again, watch the bulletin board for details.