Portsmouth pupils escape Sandy damage in New York

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A party of Portsmouth schoolchildren are safe and well after dodging the worst effects of superstorm Sandy.

The pupils from the City of Portsmouth Boys School and their teachers flew to America last Friday, and arrived in New York from Washington shortly before the storm hit.

Headteacher Mike Smith said: ‘They were already out there before the early warning said that the hurricane was likely to hit New York.

‘We never had any suggestion that they shouldn’t go.

‘They flew into Washington and the travel company moved up the schedule to get them into New York before the storm hit.

‘I think that was really smart and made a huge difference.’

Although the tour itinerary was disrupted and some visits have had to be cancelled, now that the storm has passed through the group has been able to resume its trip and carry on seeing the sights.

‘They will have had an experience of New York that many won’t get,’ Mr Smith added. ‘It’s a unique experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.’

Mr Smith added that his brother lives in the city and has been in touch with him through the storm as well.

He said: ‘He’s been very English about it all, he said it’s just a bit of weather.

‘I know New York fairly well because I’ve been out to visit him a few time and I knew where the boys’ hotel was located and that it wasn’t near a red zone and they weren’t in any danger, although the hotel did lose power.’

The party is due to return to the UK tomorrow.