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Wellington family caught up in Superstorm Sandy in New York
A HOLIDAYMAKER from Wellington has told how her family has been caught up in the devastating superstorm which hit the east coast of America.
Maria and Graham Kerr were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary with their two teenage children in New York City when Hurricane Sandy lashed the eastern part of the country.
The gale, dubbed ‘Frankenstorm’, flooded major cities up and down the coast and left at least 72 dead.
In Manhattan, gusts of more than 85mph brought a record-breaking 13ft surge of seawater, submerging seven subway tunnels, roads and leaving ‘the city that never sleeps’ in almost total darkness on Monday night.
Cars were also seen floating down the street and a large power station exploded, blacking out much of Lower Manhattan, state officials confirmed.
Mrs Kerr, who works at Wellington Junior School, said: “We were in mid-town Manhattan, very close to Times Square. Most businesses closed up and staff couldn’t move around the city.
“It’s not quite how we imagined our anniversary. A massive crane almost blew over just nine blocks away but we were very calm.
“A building’s facade also collapsed – listening to rattling windows on the ninth floor wasn’t pleasant. There were still people out and about but we were staying put.”
Thousands of domestic and international flights were cancelled this week, leaving many British tourists stranded in the US.
The Kerr family was due to fly home on Tuesday (October 30), but they will have to wait until Saturday before returning back to Wellington.
Mrs Kerr added: “We were meant to be coming back at 7pm on Tuesday but we were told from a friend back home our flight had been cancelled.
“Flights resumed on Wednesday but there’s no room for us until Saturday night. We have tried to use connecting flights via other US cities but as there are four of us it’s not easy – it’s frustrating.
“Our eldest son is meant to be working and Graham is self-employed.”