As our region begins to recover from Hurricane Sandy and all the devastation that accompanied it, I write to update you on how the Cornell community has been impacted and is responding. This has been a life-changing event for many Cornellians and their families and friends.
Many of you have generously offered to help in the recovery. Some of you need assistance. I can report that relief plans are underway and information will be shared as available. To facilitate communication among students, faculty, staff, and our larger Cornell family, we have established a blog at http://relief.cornell.edu/. Please visit the site to ask and answer questions and learn how you can assist and ask for help.
The following is an update on the conditions of our facilities throughout the northeast. In New York City, Weill Cornell Medical College resumed normal operations today after cancelling classes on Tuesday. Facilities were monitored throughout Monday night and Tuesday. Thanks to the efforts of the emergency operations team and staff who responded around the clock, power was maintained, patients were cared for, and the college suffered only minimal damage.
Our other New York City offices—Cooperative Extension; Architecture, Art, and Planning; Operations Research and Information Engineering; and Cornell Tech—have reported continued power outages, and in some cases damage to their facilities. Our ILR offices on East 34th Street will reopen tomorrow. I understand that all our programs are making the necessary arrangements to continue their work, and that our faculty, staff and students are doing well.
Elsewhere in the state, our county extension offices have reported no problems, nor has the Geneva Agricultural Experiment Station. The Buffalo and Rochester ILR Extension offices remain open. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station’s Long Island facility in Riverhead did suffer power outages, downed trees and telephone lines, and some damage to greenhouse windows. The Shoals Marine Laboratory off the coast of Maine engaged in extensive pre-storm preparations and avoided any damage.
The Ithaca campus was spared severe weather, as were Cornellians and our Cornell in Washington program in the District of Columbia. There were no power outages or damage to facilities. Our colleagues in Haiti report that the GHESKIO clinic experienced some flooding but is now up and fully operational.
My sincere thanks go out to all of you, particularly at Weill Cornell, who are working so hard to care for others in the wake of the storm. To those of you who suffered damage to your homes or property, please accept my wishes to each and all for a speedy return to normal.
David J. Skorton