Student experienced once in a lifetime birthday celebration in New York when Hurricane Sandy hit.

Student celebrated birthday in New York during Hurricane Sandy

Alex Sunier

It is not often that you can celebrate your birthday during the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, but one Kingston student braved the storm for his birthday pint.

Amir Taghan, a second year film studies student and recently 21, travelled to New York with his two older brothers to celebrate his birthday in style. However, what Amir didn’t anticipate, was Hurricane Sandy joining the party too.

Heavy rain pour on first day

“My flight was one of the last to arrive in Newark Airport on the Sunday before Sandy hit, the rain was already falling heavily, but as we piled into the closest yellow cab the cabbie told us it was going to get worse as the night went on,” Amir explained.

“The day before the storm hit we decided to go to Times Square, walking around Times Square there was a weird sense that something really bad was going to happen,” he said.

For Amir’s actual birthday on the Monday, while city wide evacuations were underway, they were fortunate enough to be able to stay in their hotel room and bunker down there for the night.

Amir said: “We were staying at the Wellington Hotel in Manhattan. We could hear the power of the wind and rain outside and we were following live updates on our TV of the carnage being caused by Sandy.”

‘Frankenstorm’ caused dangerous crane damage

One of the most reported incidents of damage that Hurricane Sandy caused was the crane that was dangling precariously from 90 stories high in Manhattan. Amir was on the street below it when the crane first began to collapse.

He said: “The noise was deafening when it first broke. Apparently it wasn’t fastened down properly, so it was a combination of human error and Sandy that caused it to flip over.”

Bars and clubs were still open during tropical storm

However, the city that never sleeps truly earned its name during Hurricane Sandy.

Amir said: “Due to people becoming stranded there was a sense of people coming together.

“Bars were open pretty much all the time, even the bars in lower Manhattan that had lost power still opened their doors.

“I don’t think I’ll ever experience New York like that again.”

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