A CARLOW FAMILY, who arrived in New York just in time for Hurricane Sandy, breathed a sigh of relief when they touched down in Dublin airport on Wednesday night.
Well known business adviser Jacqui McNabb, who runs her own Business and Career Resources company in Carlow town, flew out to New York with her husband and two children, 16-year-old Gary and 14-year-old Chole.
With public transport at a standstill they spent hours in a taxi in gridlock traffic in the hope of making a 9.20 p.m. flight. Earlier flights had been cancelled and passengers were informed of weeklong delays.
'I thought the taxi driver would give up. Anyone travelling anywhere in the city did so by car. Everyone was on the road at once. I know traffic is gridlock in New York but I have never seen anything like this,' said Jacqui.
Thankfully they had booked accommodation for their stay in midtown Manhattan the furthest area away from the flooding. Businesses shut up shop around them and the streets were eerily empty but despite strong winds and rain this part of the city never lost electricity.
'We saw roofs that had been blown off and trees that were lifted from the footpaths but thankfully there was no flooding,' she said.
'We witnessed cars under trees and pavements ripped up. Everywhere was closed down because staff couldn't get in to work.'
They arrived in Manhattan on Friday and by Saturday closure signs were being put up in shops because of Hurricane Sandy.
The subway closed at 7 p.m. on Sunday but it was at 6 p.m. on Monday that the storm really hit.
Shops in Times Square shut down but by Tuesday evening business was back and booming.
'Some of the shops stayed open until 2 a.m.,' she added. 'The queues were unbelievable it was like Christmas eve, people were just dying to shop.'
Jacqui thanked everyone for their well wishes and thanked also her lucky stars that they weren't stranded in New York.
'I have never been more relieved to get home,' she said.