Student’s tale of Hurricane Sandy experience

A STUDENT has recounted her experience of being trapped in New York as the city was gripped by Hurricane Sandy.

Katie Greenbank, from Ashwell, was part of a group of 30 English literature students from the Perse School, Cambridge, who were in the Big Apple when the hurricane hit earlier this month.

She said: “Although it was quite an adventure, it was at times an emotional and stressful trip, particularly in the days immediately after the storm.”

The students first heard about the approaching hurricane while waiting in the queue to climb the Empire State Building.

Katie, 17, said: “A security guard passed the time with us, asking where we were from and what we were going to do when the storm came.

“We weren’t even too concerned on the Sunday, though a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty was a bit rough.”

With the storm and winds of 110mph due to hit the city on the Monday, the decision was made to keep the group in their hostel, along with three other school parties that were based there.

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“On the day the storm hit itself we were in the hotel all day and were watching everything that was happening on the news,” said Katie.

“It was quite scary but it was more because of the anticipation of something happening.

“The day after we went for a walk and New York was like a ghost town. None of the shops were open, there was nobody about, and we saw the crane that had bent backwards.”

The students eventually returned to the UK seven days late, with the three teachers on the trip having paid for food and accommodation for the whole group.

They belatedly got the chance to visit sights such as the Museum of Modern Art and catch the musical Chicago.

“Safely back in the UK, I can tell you how much I appreciate the efforts our teachers made on our behalf, how pleased I was to see my family, and how much I enjoyed sinking into the sofa on my return for a proper cup of tea,” said Katie.