Tri-Staters return home after being stranded by Sandy - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Tri-Staters return home after being stranded by Sandy

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The massive clean up process continues Saturday night after super-storm Sandy.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it could take days to even weeks to fully restore the city's gasoline shortage.

There is some good news though, 80% of the city's subway system has been restored. And, most of the 1.1 million students enrolled in the city's public school system will go back to class on Monday. 57 schools that are flooded or damaged will remain closed.

Some Evansville residents trapped in New York City during the storm are back in the Tri-State, and Saturday, they're sharing their story with us.

Three of those Evansville residents are Racheal Gass, Maggie Ferguson, and Justine Brock.

All three are hairstylists at Shannon Aleksandr Salon and Spa, and the trio says they were stranded in New York following the hurricane.

"It was quite an experience," Gass said.

Gass says she, and two of her co-workers, went to New York last week to take a redken-certified hair colors test.

"It's only something that we wanted to do, you know, to boost our careers," she noted.

Gass says they stayed at a hotel in Manhattan and that the trip went smoothly until Sunday afternoon.

"On Sunday, we were in the middle of our test. They broke it up into three parts. So, on our first break, everyone else's flights were being canceled for Sunday evening," Ferguson told 14 News. "And then during our lunch break, our flights were being canceled. And then our next break was like, 'Where are we staying? Our reservation is up tomorrow."

The following day, Sandy made landfall.

"The window on our hotel room, I was actually scared that it was going to blow in, because it was like, waving," recalled Gass. "The hotel window that was there since 1924. I'm like, 'Something's not good."

After the storm, Gass and Ferguson say they were fortunate to still have power at the hotel. But how were they going to get home?

"After a while, we just kept getting turned down and turned down," said Ferguson. "Like, our flights are canceled. 'La guardia, have you seen the pictures? They are completely flooded.' And then finally, Chad Butler, our manager and boss, he ended up driving up from Indiana to New York. He picked us up, straight through the night, and drove all the way back home. So, it was a wild experience."

"Being stranded, it wasn't fun and truly not knowing when we were going to get home, that wasn't enjoyable," Gass said. "But, in the grand scheme, like I said, we didn't have to suffer anything. You know? there are people who are really suffering tremendous loss. So, we were really lucky the whole time."

Both Ferguson and Gass say they have never experienced anything like Hurricane Sandy, and that they are very relieved to be back home.

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