April 20, 2013

Mainers in Boston: Too close – and too eerie – for comfort

By MATT HONGOLTZ-HETLING Morning Sentinel

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Terrorism in Maine

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Logan Leavitt, 20, of Portland is a student at Emerson College. He tried to leave the city Friday but had to turn back when train service was shut down.

Photo courtesy of Logan Leavitt

click image to enlarge

Law enforcement search for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Mass., where he was ultimately captured after a lengthy shootout. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Robertson, who graduated from UMaine in 2006 and has lived in Boston ever since, works at Northeastern University, which was closed Friday because of the lockdown. He sat glued to his Twitter feed and the local news stations as law enforcement swarmed through the city.

"Boston is pretty much completely on hold right now," said Robertson, 29. "There are a couple of cars driving down the street, but for the most part it's a ghost town over here."

Lowe, 19, a freshman at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., said he woke up around 7:30 Friday morning and had multiple email messages from college administrators canceling classes as the manhunt continued in the Watertown area, one town from his campus.

"I've heard a few times police sirens driving past the university in the direction of Watertown," said Lowe. "It is definitely nerve-wracking. We don't plan on going anywhere."

Tourigny, the Biddeford resident who graduated from Cheverus High School, is in her second year at Northeastern.

She was scheduled to take a statistics final Friday, but it was postponed indefinitely. Tourigny woke up at 8:30 a.m. to her roommate screaming.

"She was saying that the university was closed, the entire city is closed and there is a man with a bomb on the loose," Tourigny said.

Initially skeptical, she checked her computer and found that her roommate wasn't exaggerating. From Tourigny's vantage point on the ninth floor of her dormitory, the city looked deserted.

"I have literally not seen a person this entire time," she said Friday afternoon. "The only cars that have gone by are police cars with sirens on -- and also helicopters."

Tourigny's dorm room faces west, in the direction of Cambridge and Watertown, and the police cruisers were heading that way, she said.

"Hopefully I get to leave the building soon. I'm getting a little stir crazy in here," she said.

Fellow Cheverus graduate Paige Lucas, a sophomore at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., woke at 6:45 a.m. Friday to an automated telephone call from the school announcing that the subway system was closed for the day.

A quick check of her emails showed that classes were canceled and students were told to stay on campus and indoors as much as possible.

"It's kind of like a ghost town," said Lucas. "My friends are definitely scared and stuff."

Many of the dining hall workers couldn't make it to work Friday, she said. Lucas, who works for the dining service but wasn't scheduled to work, pitched in with other students to help run the dorm's cafeteria.

Medford is about five miles from Watertown, but Lucas said one of her friends who was up late Thursday night "heard the explosions in Watertown when they were throwing the grenades in the street."

Staff Writers Matt Byrne and David Hench contributed to this report.

 

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Today's poll: Terrorism in Maine

How worried are you about terrorism in Maine?

Very worried

Somewhat worried

Not worried at all

View Results