The storm hit just days after students returned to campus for the Fall 2021 semester, and many families charged through Henri together, welcoming students into their homes with open arms.
Aug 26, 2021
Tanner Brown ’24 had just returned to the University of New Haven when the forecast predicted Tropical Storm Henri would hit the Connecticut shoreline. The storm, predicted to strengthen into a hurricane, was expected to bring strong winds, significant rainfall, and cause power outages across the region.
In response to the forecast, Brown returned home – and his roommates joined him. His mother, Stephanie Brown, says she was happy to host them.
“Making Sunday morning pancakes for a group of hungry friends is never a hardship,” she said. “We’re an hour north of campus, so it just made sense for the crew to come here and save their parents a longer trip back and forth. I know the other families would do the same for our son if he ever needed a place to go.”
‘Thank you to all the families’
The Brown family was one of many Charger families that hosted students who had returned to campus for the start of the fall semester but were too far from home to return when the storm was predicted to hit Connecticut.
Michael Tirabassi ’24, a hospitality and tourism management major, returned to his home in Wilbraham, Mass., along with several of his fellow Chargers and residents of Celentano Hall.
“I loved hearing all the laughter and fun from the great kids at my house,” said his mother, Rebecca.
Out of an abundance of caution, the University strongly encouraged all students who were able to leave the area by Saturday evening to do so. Amanda DiClerico '24, a dental hygiene major, returned to her home in New York to ride out the storm, and her suitemates joined her.
“It was great to have them,” said Daniella DiClerico, Amanda’s mother. “Thank you to all the families and to the University for taking care of our students.”
‘Safe from the path of the storm’
Gabrielle Duke and her son Asher Duke ’24 welcomed Emily Verge '24 into their home in Patterson, NY, where they safely rode out the storm, spending time with the Dukes’ puppy, Sugaree.
“Emily lives in Massachusetts, and they were expecting a direct hit there,” explained Duke. “Asher has a single, but Emily's suitemates were all welcome as well, but they ended up going to their own homes.
Emily Sanatar ’25 and her two suitemates returned to her home in Purchase, New York. Her suitemates live far away from the University and were not able to return home, and Sanatar’s mother, Brenda, was glad to host them.
“It was so nice to have them in my home, safe from the path of the storm,” she said. “I didn’t want them to have to ride out the storm on their own. They had a really great time hanging out together and getting a chance to get to know each other.”