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Superstorm Sandy

by A. Maureen Rouhi
November 1, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 45

Hurricane Sandy started pummeling Washington, D.C., at around 3 PM on Monday, Oct. 29, with wind gusts of up to 60 mph. From my cursory view of the streets in downtown Washington, before daybreak on Oct. 30, just a couple of blocks from the White House, it appears the capital has been spared the worst. As I write on Oct. 30, the full impact of Sandy has yet to play out.

The federal government was closed on Oct. 29 and 30, as was the American Chemical Society. At C&EN, we mobilized to get a core crew safely inside ACS headquarters ahead of the storm. The rest of the Washington staff involved with this issue worked from home as long as they had power. Most of our colleagues based in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island were relatively unscathed. Two of our colleagues, however, suffered more than most. A tree fell on, and split open, the garage roof of a Washington-based C&EN staffer. And a New Jersey-based staffer and his family evacuated their home on Staten Island in time to flee the rising waters, which reached 14 feet at one point.

We will remember Superstorm Sandy for a long time, as we still remember the Snowmageddon of 2010.

Related Story: Hurricane Sandy Slams East Coast
Disaster: Massive storm brings flooding, power outages but the chemical enterprise escapes largely unscathed

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.


C&ampEN reporters created a Twitter hashtag, #sandychemists, so researchers affected by the storm could use it when telling their stories. We know not all of our readers are on Twitter, though, so if you’re fortunate enough to have an internet connection post-Sandy, tell us your story in the comments below or at our news story about Sandy (


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