Myton School staff and pupils stranded in New York by Hurricane Sandy

AMID the chaos and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, a group including staff and two children from Myton School have experienced the spirit of New Yorkers and shown togetherness and camaraderie of their own.

Following a successful student trip to the American city last year, a 19-strong group including the staff and their families flew out to the Big Apple for a leisure trip at the weekend and were supposed to return on Tuesday of this week.

But they are currently stranded while waiting for a return flight to the UK after the storm caused deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage along the east coast of the US.

Staying at the Hotel Wolcott on West 31st Street near the Empire State Building and Fifth Avenue, the group have seen much of the destruction and disruption caused by the storm, which surged through Manhattan on Monday night.

Jonathon Targett, Myton’s assistant headteacher and the group’s leader, said: “It was scary when it hit us.

“We could hear the wind and rain and stuff crashing off the roofs.

“The American media has said it is a national disaster and millions of homes have been destroyed. It’s brutal.”

A large water tower came crashing down about 60 yards from the entrance of the hotel and in nearby Chelsea, the entire front was ripped off a three-storey building.

Power cuts have left people without heating, while some have had to pump “oily sludge” from their flooded houses.

Parks have been closed, all seven of the East River tunnels have been flooded halting travel in and out of Manhattan and the subway system has been out of action for days.

Meanwhile the group has struggled to find places to eat because many businesses are closed.

But despite their sightseeing trip having not gone to plan, the group has had a “good time”, according to Mr Targett.

He said: “We’ve shown some real British spirit in that we’ve been here and done our best.

“We’ve joined in and helped people - we even collected money to give to a man so he could get home. We’re in the thick of it but spirits are up and it’s been amazing how the New Yorkers have kept everything together.”

Speaking to the Courier today, Mr Targett said the group have booked flights to return to the UK on Tuesday November 6, a week later than they had first planned.

They will be in the city while the New York Marathon takes place at the weekend.

When this article was first published we wrongly reported the trip was a half-term school trip.

We apologise for the error and any distress caused.