The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 29, 2012

UPDATED: Joplin native preparing to wait out Hurricane Sandy

Jessilyn Nokes Westhoff, Danbury, Conn.

4:13 p.m. — By late afternoon, Jessilyn Westhoff reported that "the weather has

picked up a little, mostly windy, but nothing too eventful to report

yet." She was hoping for the best as she stayed inside with her newly

adopted baby, Joshua.

"We got the most important things first — bottled water and formula

powder! We don't want a hungry and unhappy baby if we get stuck at

home without power," she said.


Andy Laas, Silver Springs, Md.

4:05 p.m. — Andy Laas, a Joplin native now living in Silver Spring, Md., took his son outside Monday afternoon to check their rain gauge.

“It said 3 inches,” Laas reported. “We’re OK at the moment. It’s raining and 46 degrees. The next couple of hours will be important.”

Laas, who lives about nine miles north of the White House, was home with his children because his office — a federal one — and schools were among the many closings in the Washington, D.C. area. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Service also was closed.

His mother, Virginia Laasl lives in Joplin and checked in on his well-being as Hurricane Sandy began to pound the East Coast.

“Everything is closed until Wednesday, and I have been able to work from home,” her son said. That’s because so far, there is power.

“We still have power, but I was banking on it going out last night and to not get it back on until Thursday,” Laas said. “They are saying the heaviest winds — sustained up to 60 miles per hour — will be around 5 p.m. tonight. It’s just a wait-and-see.”

His family is high enough in elevation and far enough from any major water source that they are not in an evacuation zone.

“I like to think we’re pretty well situated for this since all the way back to 9-11 there has been disaster preparedness,” he said.


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