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Families of Midlanders trapped in NYC speak to Central Tonight

The parents of a charity worker and families of school children stranded in the US, have told Central Tonight of their relief that their loved ones made it through the first night of Superstorm Sandy.

It battered the East coast, prompting President Obama to declare a major disaster in New York City.

The storm brought winds of up to 90 miles per hour, a record surge of seawater and torrential rain, causing massive disruption.

It's claimed more than 70 lives in the Caribbean and along the East coast.

Headteacher: "the girls are safe and having a little adventure"

The headteacher of Leicester Highschool for Girls, Julia Burns told Central News today that the girls are safe in New York after being trapped in a hotel as the 'superstorm' Sandy hit the city and north east coast of the US.

The thirty-eight schoolgirls were on a culture trip and are due to fly home tomorrow but it is currently uncertain as to whether flights will resume as airports and public transport have been suspended until further notice.

Click here for more on this story and to read the girls experiences and see their photos.

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Mum of schoolgirl in New York "We couldn't underestimate the severity of the storm"

The mum of one of the schoolgirls on a school trip in New York has said she cannot wait for her daughter Aruna to come home.

Aruna is one of the 38 Leicester schoolgirls on a trip to New York who spent the night trapped in a hotel, as one of the biggest storms in living memory battered the city and north east of the US.

Superstorm: schoolgirls venture out after 22hrs indoors

Important notice: this was handed out to everyone in the girl's hotel yesterday in preparation of the storm Credit: Leicester High School for Girls

The 38 children from Leicester who were stuck in their New York hotel for 22 hours as super-storm Sandy brought devastation to the north east coast of the US are preparing to venture outside.

The Mayor of New York said airports are closed due to runway flooding and all public transport remains closed until further notice.

The girls are due to fly home tomorrow but the school's Head Teacher Julia Burns said whether they will be able to make that flight is not yet known.

Pupils describe night stuck in super-storm

Pupils from a school in Leicester have spent the night trapped in a hotel in New York after one of the most severe storms in living memory hit the north east coast of the US.

Thirty-eight pupils aged between 15 and 18 from Leicester all Girls High School have been sending us pictures and telling us what it is like to be in New York now.

"Throughout the night there were fire engines whizzing up and down.

"Outside was a ghost town, homeless people had abandoned their trollies.

"The worst part was waiting for the unknown, this was our first major storm and seeing the American news was alarming.

"Seeing the spread of darkness across New York as the power shut off was scary."

– Pupil Sorcha Whyte,

"Lying in bed at midnight and hearing the silence then the beginning of the wind with the lights flickering was scary, we missed the power cut by 3 blocks.

"The sound of the wind was like a tube train"

"Times Square is a ghost town, eerie sirens can be heard every so often.

– Pupil Sophie Upcraft

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Hurricane Sandy: Leicester pupils barricaded in hotel

by Lisa Hartle
Tape can be seen on the window as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm's arrival Credit: Leicester High School for Girls

The 38 schoolchildren from Leicester High School for Girls who are on a trip to New York have sent these photographs of themselves inside a hotel in Times Square as they wait for Hurricane Sandy to arrive.

The schoolchildren are in a hotel keeping informed of the storm via US news channels Credit: Leicester High School For Girls

Head of Sixth Form Angela Lancini has reassured parents they are all safe and have plenty of water and food.

She said they are waiting for the storm to pass adding that she does not feel scared but anxious.

The schoolchildren are on a culture trip and were due to be in Washington today but flights have been cancelled due to the storm.

A pupil looking to the sky. The arrival of the storm is expected at 23.00hrs UK time Credit: Leicester High School for Girls

Children on school trip barricaded in New York hotel

Pupils and a teacher from a Leicester school have barricaded themselves inside a hotel in New York after being caught in one of the biggest storms in living memory.

Thirty-eight sixth formers from Leicester High School for Girls are currently taking shelter in their hotel in Times Square.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit New York shortly bringing with it gusts of over 85 mph and flooding. Almost 400,000 people have been evacuated from the coast by the US authorities.

The teacher has reassured everyone back in the UK saying that they are safe with plenty of water and food.

The school Media and Marketing assistant said in a statement from Leicester:

"The subway and shops are shut, and food limited, but they are revising, and keeping their spirits up.

"We have been reassured that they are safe, but obviously there is concern, as the hurricane is still to fully impact. Parents are in contact with the girls and the school."

– Anne Whitlock
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