Colorado State students stranded by Tropical Storm Sandy

When CSU senior Michael Hanson traveled to Virginia to look at graduate school, he never expected he would be stuck near the epicenter of a giant storm.

Sandy was downgraded from hurricane status shortly after making landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. at approximately 8 p.m. The storm affects an area on the east coast that stretches from Massachusetts to Virginia. The meteorologists expect 58 mph winds near the hotel in Virginia Beach, Va., where Hanson and his girlfriend, junior Morgan Dorsey, are staying, he said.

“It’s definitely my first hurricane I’ve ever experienced,” Hanson said. “People who I know out here in Virginia say it’s a great way to welcome me to the Northeast.”

Hanson and Dorsey arrived in Virginia Friday to watch Dorsey’s father, an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth, receive an award at the school. They then visited Dorsey’s family and Hanson looked at the university.

The CSU students have to take a small connecting flight from Norfolk to return to Colorado, but high winds have so far prevented the plane from taking off.

“We keep pushing it back days and days and days, so we’ll see when I get back,” Hanson said.

Hanson and Dorsey are staying in one of the upper floors of their hotel, which is about 30 feet from the boardwalk on the beach. The hotel’s generators have maintained power in the building. While they wait to return to Colorado, Dorsey and Hanson worked on homework and spent time with Dorsey’s brother, who lives in the area.

“We tried to run down to a couple of stores the other day and everything’s closed, so we’re just stuck,” Dorsey said.

Hanson only has class Tuesday and Thursday, so he has not missed much school. But, Dorsey had to email homework to her teachers and is missing a test on Tuesday.

“That excuse covers it pretty well. ‘Stuck in a hurricane, sorry,’” Hanson said.

Kiyara Woest, a sophomore communications major, was visiting her boyfriend at State College, Penn., when her flight was cancelled. Classes have been cancelled for students at the school, but the storm is not what she expected.

“Right now there’s just a lot of rain … It’s not as bad inland as I thought it would be,” Woest said.

Woest will also be missing classes and at least one exam. She plans to fly back to Colorado Thursday.

Hanson expects he and Dorsey will fly out within the next few days.

Senior Reporter Kate Winkle can be reached at news@collegian.com.