MORE Wearsiders have been left stranded in storm-ravaged New York.
Gary Goldsmith, from Middle Herrington, wife Anita – who works in emergency control for Sunderland City Council – and son Christopher, 15, flew from Heathrow last Tuesday.
The 46-year-old and his family have been told they could be stuck in the US until next week due to the superstorm, which has killed at least 40 people and left millions without power.
Winds of up to 85mph hurled a record-breaking 13ft surge of seawater into New York City, causing extensive flooding.
“We have seen limited damage in the area where we are,” said Gary. “But a building very close to us had the crane collapse on the top on it.
“It is said to be the highest residential block in New York – the penthouse just sold for $95million.”
Evacuation shelters have been set up in more than 70 schools in the city as many flee their homes.
Public transport was halted yesterday due to the weather for only the second time in its 108-year history, and the New York Stock Exchange closed for at least two days.
The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has warned the city faces “days in darkness” after being lashed by the post-tropical storm.
IT company director Gary said: “At present 98 per cent of all the shops are closed, with only souvenir shops open and a few delis and eating places.
“Things are just beginning to turn around. Bridges across the Hudson are now open, as are most of the tunnels.
“However, the airports are still closed as are the schools in New York.
“Me and my son were out in the storm yesterday and took a photo at the US Intrepid with Sunderland tops on.
“It looks like we will be stuck here until at least Tuesday, which is eight days overdue.”
Black Cats fan Gary rejected claims that holidaymakers should have got out of the area early.
“We knew there was a storm hitting the Bahamas, but we did not anticipate the storm turning the way it did and nor did anyone else,” he said.
“According to the weathermen over here it was a metrological phenomenon, with the hurricane converging with other storms from the north.
“We are safe and missed the brunt of the storm, but our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones and suffered catastrophic damage to their properties.”
While sightseeing earlier in Times Square, the Goldsmiths met another stranded Wearside family.
The Smiths, from Roker, appeared in Tuesday’s Echo after a half-term break for son Owen’s 16th birthday left them facing paying hundreds of pounds more to get home, with flights cancelled until the storm clears.