Our New York terror in face of 'Frankenstorm'
A dancer from the Westcountry described her "terror" as she took shelter in the heart of what was expected to be the biggest storm to ever hit the American mainland.
Jasmine Gregory, 23, from Saltash in south east Cornwall, who flew to New York on Saturday to visit her boyfriend, spoke just hours before Hurricane Sandy, dubbed a "Frankenstorm", was due to hit America's east coast.
Ms Gregory was staying with 25-year-old Stephen Spratt, from Plympton, Devon, in Murray Hill on Third Avenue on the East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, just one block away from where thousands of people had been evacuated.
Speaking last night, she said: "It's seriously terrifying here – I'm so scared.
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"On Sunday night we were told there is a serious risk of flooding in our area and that we may be next to be evacuated but we will have a better idea as the storm gets closer.
"It's very eerie at the moment. New York is the city that never sleeps and on Sunday night, 24-hour shops, diners and restaurants were all shutting. There's no transport running either and shops are being raided for food supplies. People are starting to protect their homes and businesses.
"Stephen and I have been inside since 9pm on Sunday. They stopped all public transport at 7pm so it was very hard to get home as everyone was flagging down cabs. It was a bit of a panic but we luckily got one."
Yesterday weather reports were warning people in New York City and the suburbs that there was a "significant threat to life and property" as the hurricane drew nearer.
Forecasters have told residents to ensure all windows and doors are secured before the dangerous winds arrive and during the storm, stay inside and away from windows.
Ms Gregory said: "I'm terrified. I feel like my insides are shaking. We can't go outside because of all the flying debris, like trees and branches. We have been told to prepare our homes with food and to have a 'to go' bag ready with things like water, energy bars, torches and identification documents in.
"I feel like we are waiting for something terrible to happen. Waiting for the unknown is awfully scary."