Holidaymakers are caught in Hurricane Sandy

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A holidaymaker has described how she was caught up in the midst of Hurricane Sandy in an evacuation area plunged into darkness.

Gina Glover, 67, of Harrington, was visiting friends in Lower Manhattan with her partner Geoff Rayner when the superstorm hit New York last week, battering the city with winds of up to 85mph.

Despite being in an area where experts advised residents to evacuate, the group decided to stay in their third-floor apartment.

She said: “It was an extraordinary experience in the darkness.

“In retrospect I don’t think we realised how dangerous it was as someone died only a block away.

“About an hour before the storm hit, my partner and I went down to the nearby river and we could see it was overflowing.

“We then stood outside the apartment and we could see people rushing madly to get their cars off the streets.

“Then the surge of water hit a few hours later and the streets were submerged, I was thinking ‘oh my goodness, how high is it going to get?’”

Mrs Glover’s apartment lost power and the group had to spend several nights by candlelight. She described her area of the city in total blackout, with flares replacing traffic lights to make for ‘terrifying’ driving conditions.

She returned to the UK earlier this week, and added: “It’s so nice to be back to dry and sunny weather.”