Swansea family's dream New York trip thrown into chaos by storm Sandy
WHAT should have been a dream trip to New York City has become an anxious wait to return home for a Swansea family, thanks to storm Sandy.
A trip to the Big Apple usually means a fun-packed experience spent exploring some of the most recognisable sights in the world, but a ‘perfect storm’ led to visitors and locals alike having to batten down the hatches as a record four-metre (13ft) tidal surge, which sent seawater cascading into large parts of the city, and winds of more than 90mph wreaked havoc.
Such was the damage, US President Barack Obama declared New York state a “major disaster zone” as a power sub-station exploded, a hospital was evacuated, a fire destroyed 50 homes and at least 16 people lost their lives.
Gower College lecturer Rhian Ellis told the Post she was keeping her fingers crossed that she and her husband and ten-year-old son Sam could return from a wedding in New York City in time for work on Monday.
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She said: “We are out here for our friends’ wedding, Cath O’Connor and Matthew John, both paramedics from Swansea. There are several other paramedics out here, including my husband Paul Ellis and David Bowen.
“We are safe but were confined to our hotel, as were the rest of the party in their hotels. The wedding went ahead a day early on Sunday, but the planned world yacht cruise reception had to be cancelled. Alternative arrangements were made that were fantastic, but of course things weren’t as expected.
“Mid town escaped the worst but the disruption has been significant. We are all in close proximity to the dangling crane. We have been unable to proceed with any planned tourist activities, but are relieved to be safe.
“On the plus side the wedding was lovely nevertheless, we all had a photo in Times Square.”
Now Mrs Ellis can’t wait to get home.
She said: “I hope to be back in work myself on Monday, I am a lecturer at Gower College Swansea, but we will just have to sit tight. Family and friends have been sending well-wishes, but we are all fine, just very disappointed things have turned out this way.”
Gerald Davies, who is from Three Crosses and also travelled to the city for a wedding, said: “This is an impressive city when it comes to planning and safety, but lets hope we can travel to the airport and get a flight sooner than next Tuesday.”