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Hurricane Sandy Rains on East Coast Meetings, Events

By Matt Alderton
October 29, 2012

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The monster storm known as Hurricane Sandy — potentially the largest storm to ever hit the United States, according to media reports — already is causing power outages, flooding and evacuations up and down the East Coast. Roads, schools and businesses aren't the only things being shut down, however. Meetings and events all along the Eastern Seaboard also have been affected.

As of Monday morning, nine U.S. states had declared states of emergency due to the Category 1 storm, which is nearly 1,000 miles wide. Expected to make landfall Monday night somewhere between Delaware and New Jersey, the storm promises to deliver gale-force winds, rain, flooding and even snow across much of the nation, from North Carolina to New England and as far west as Kentucky. As a result, nearly 9,000 airline flights have been cancelled.

All of this persuaded the District of Columbia Baptist Convention to postpone its annual meeting, which was expected to host 140 congregations in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 and 30.

"The 136th Annual Meeting of the D.C. Baptist Convention that was to begin on Monday, Oct. 29 is being postponed due to the approaching storm system and the impact it will have on the region," reads a statement on the organization's website. "Information regarding a new date will be disseminated as soon as it becomes available."

In New York, Reed Travel Exhibitions postponed the International Security Conference & Exposition — otherwise known as ISC East — which was scheduled to take place at the Javits Center Oct. 30 and 31.

"Due to the state of smergency declared by the governor of the State of New York and the clear impact and potential danger presented by Hurricane Sandy, we have made a decision to postpone ISC East," says the event's website. "We will work with our exhibitors, attendees and the Javits Center to try to establish an appropriate future date for the show."

Organizers of a concurrent show at the Javits Center, the Advanced Energy 2012 Conference, had planned to proceed with their event, but were forced to cancel it due to mandatory evacuation of the Javits Center on Sunday.

Among the many other meetings, conventions and events impacted by Sandy: the Connecticut Educators Computer Association/Connecticut Association of School Librarians 2012 Conference in Hartford, Conn.; the Mesco Marine Equipment and Supply Co. dealer trade show in Atlantic City, N.J.; and the Baltimore National College Fair in Baltimore — all of which were cancelled.

Although they're monitoring the storm, other groups — such as the American Society of Clinical Pathology, which is convening this week for its annual meeting in Boston — have decided to hold their meetings as planned.

"We are keeping a close watch on the weather forecast for Boston and expect all events to remain as scheduled," reads an announcement on ASCP's website.

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