The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 29, 2012

Area travelers feeling storm's wrath



When the couple left Philadelphia, Katuin said conditions were still OK, just rain and wind. By Monday night they planned to drive to St. Louis, Mo., and stay the night before heading home.

The storm was hitting the New York area Monday, and evacuations were happening Sunday, which is when Eagle Lake residents Judy Born and Peggy Wille were getting one of the last flights out of JFK Airport.

The two friends were on a weeklong ladies vacation to New York and had been planning to stay until Tuesday, but the weather changed their plans. Their hotel was in Times Square.

“I wanted to stay and stick it out. (I thought) we could go to a shelter or something,” said Born, who works at The Free Press.

But the two decided the storm was too dangerous, and Born called her son to see if he could help get them an earlier flight.

“I finally called my son Sunday morning, and he was ticked off, and he said we should have been working on this sooner,” she said.

On top of the original cost of tickets the two bought originally, they each had to pay $800 for first-class return tickets, which was all that was available.

Born said they were lucky to find a bus to take them to the airport because the subway system was shutdown, and they met someone in New York who told them taxis weren’t taking people to the airport. Born said many people were trying to get flights out of the area.

“The place was just hoppin’. There were so many people,” she said.

Born said the two didn’t hear anything about the storm until they were already in New York. Born’s sister, a flight attendant with Delta, and Born’s mom called to warn them about Superstorm Sandy.

“We slept every night with The Weather Channel on,” Born said.

When they left New York Sunday, Born said it was only sprinkling outside. She’s glad they got home safely, but she said they still had hoped to do more sightseeing in New York.

“We weren’t done,” she said. 

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