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Weymouth students sidestep wrath of US superstorm
11:20am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in News
ANXIOUS Weymouth parents are keeping in daily contact with their children on a school trip to the United States that has been hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Pauline McNulty’s 16-year-old son Brendan is on the trip of a lifetime, which initially included stays in New York and Washington before extreme weather forced an extended stay in Boston.
The superstorm, which had hurricane status before reaching land, has left at least 38 people dead and six million homes without power.
Mrs McNulty, of Chapelhay, is constantly watching the news and putting £20 aside a day to cover the expected phone bill from speaking to Brendan daily.
She said: “I know he’s safe but that doesn’t stop you from worrying. Brendan says he’s never seen anything like it before in his life.
“The weather is absolutely horrendous.
“They went for a meal on Monday night and within 10 seconds they were saturated.
“Yesterday it was glorious sunshine so they were going on a shopping trip.
“He’s devastated that they won’t be able to go to New York and see what they wanted to see.”
She added: “The whole trip has costs us £2,500 as we saved up £1,000 spending money.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
“At least he can say he was there when Sandy hit.”
The school party, which left Weymouth in the early hours of Saturday morning, is due to return this Sunday, November 4.
Nikki Billington, of Preston, said her 14-year-old son Ben was disappointed not to be visiting the Empire State Building and other New York attractions.
She said: “He’s stuck over there but I actually feel quite calm as America is so prepared for this extreme weather and the reporting really instils confidence that they will keep everyone safe.
“Ben’s phoned and tweeted saying it’s windy and wet.
“The biggest shame is they won’t get to do everything they wanted to.
“It’s ironic because he was so excited about seeing the Empire State Building he bought a 3D puzzle a few days before they set off and spent ages making it.”
She said the teachers made the ‘right’ decision to stay in Boston.
She added: “I’m sure they will be able to readjust the itinerary to fit in as much as they can.”
All Saints headteacher Paul Gray said all the pupils were safe and well and in ‘great spirits’.
He praised the well-organised trip leaders for quickly responding to the situation.
Mr Gray said: “Depending on how the weather works out, they might be able to reschedule some of the planned excursions.
“They’re making the best out of what is a lively city anyway.
“I’m glad the travel company they’re with and the people we’ve got there are so well organised and have been able to be so flexible.”