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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Walney gran is caught in path of US Superstorm Sandy

A FURNESS woman has given a first-hand account of being in the path of one of the largest ever tropical storms.


Sue Burniston joked she had seen worse weather on Walney after dodging the worst of Superstorm Sandy.

The 56-year-old, of Church Street, Barrow, was caught in the path of the storm while on holiday in West Grove, Philadelphia, with her eight-year-old grandson Joshua Jones.

Mrs Burniston was visiting her brother Michael Park, who left Barrow 12 years ago for a new life in America, and spoke to the Evening Mail yesterday in the aftermath of the storm.

She said: “It was a little bit scary, We got winds and rain starting during the afternoon.

“It would have been about three o’clock in the afternoon when we started to really take notice of it. I had to take my niece to work as she works at an old people’s home and had to go in. The road was flooded. It carried on during the night and about eight o’clock we were expecting this massive surge to come. I went to bed about 10.30pm and it was still windy and raining heavily but at about two o’clock this morning, it got really bad.”

Mrs Burniston said that the storm was particularly bad for around an hour in West Grove, but cleared up surprisingly quickly and, unlike other family members she has in the area, they did not lose power. Her family had tried to prepare for the storm by buying in food, batteries and other supplies.

At least 13 people have died as a result of the storm, which brought gusts of up to 90mph to the eastern coast of the USA on Monday, with the areas around West Grove among the most severely affected. Sandy knocked out power to at least 5.7 million people across the east of the country and large parts of the Manhattan area of New York had been plunged into darkness by the storm.

Mrs Burniston said she received lots of messages from family and friends.

She said: “I have had absolutely loads and loads of messages off friends and family on Facebook.

“Everybody back in Barrow has been texting and Skyping, and my mum and dad were worried sick.

“We were very lucky considering what other people have had near here. We are in a triangle where we are 10 minutes to Delaware, 20 minutes to New Jersey and 10 minutes to Maryland. We have been looking at the news and seeing what is happening to everybody else.”

Mrs Burniston said despite a lot on the news about the storm, Joshua took it in his stride.

She said: “He wasn’t bothered. Him and my niece (my brother’s stepdaughter) spent the day running around, playing and wrestling. All my niece was worried about was that she couldn’t go out trick or treating.”

Have your say

Simon, you seem to have lost your sense of humor since you left our shores fella, Us Barrovians are renowned for our dark humor & putting a brave face on things, lighten up.

Posted by Baz Eye on 24 November 2012 at 18:30

How can this woman joke that she has seen worse weather on Walney. 110 people lost their lives, over 6.5 millions lost heat, power, and running water, and 40,000 were left homeless.
You are a disgrace to make fun of this hurricane when so many people suffered. Please stick with Blackpool or Ibiza in future. Throw away your passport we don't want people like you visiting the USA

Posted by Simon Preston on 7 November 2012 at 14:23

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