After Homecoming weekend and before Hurricane Sandy, those traveling out of Philadelphia may find themselves in an East Coast transportation mess.
On Sunday afternoon, a line for an Amtrak train out of Philadelphia stretched nearly the length of 30th Street Station, Philadelphia’s central regional rail hub. Screens around the station projected precautionary evacuation procedure plans and exits.
Amtrak canceled several train lines, including lines between New York and Washington, D.C., The New York Times reported.
In addition, SEPTA announced Sunday that Philadelphia-area buses, trolleys, subways and regional rail service will be suspended after midnight on Sunday.
As of 1:45 p.m. Sunday, more than 4,700 flights along the East Coast scheduled to depart Sunday and Monday have been cancelled, according to The Wall Street Journal. Airports will be deciding later Sunday whether or not to close.
Alumni who were on campus for Homecoming weekend are being forced to reschedule their travel plans.
2012 Engineering graduate Megan Purzycki flew in from Las Vegas for Homecoming this weekend. She was scheduled to fly back to Las Vegas at 6 p.m. tonight, but the flight is currently “on alert” due to Sandy. “It could go out, it could not go out,” she said. “And they said if it doesn’t go out today, I probably won’t get a flight until Thursday or Friday.”
Purzycki said she was thinking of staying at her parents’ house in Connecticut if the flight is canceled, but that her parents are being evacuated as well. So far, she’s looking for places to stay on campus.
“They said [the storm] was going to come in on Tuesday, so I thought, ‘Oh, it’s fine,’” she said. “But then I wake up this morning…”
Purzycki and two friends were having brunch at Tap House. It was originally supposed to be a group of 20, they said, but so many friends decided to head home to brace for the storm, the brunch group turned out to be much smaller.
Similarly, 2012 Engineering graduate Liz Lether,who was visiting for Homecoming, was supposed to get brunch today with her friends.
“My mom called and told me all the bridges were closing. So I had to call up the people I was traveling with [to Boston] and tell them we were leaving two hours early. And I didn’t get brunch,” Lether said.
Staff writer Spencer Small and contributing writer George Rosa contributed reporting.