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Stranded Leicestershire schoolgirls due to fly home today

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A group of schoolgirls stranded in New York by Hurricane Sandy are finally due to fly home today.

After being confined in hostel rooms as fierce gales and storms battered the city last week, the Leicester High School for Girls staff and pupils were able to spend the last few days of their stay in more luxurious surroundings.

The 38 students and four teachers were told on Friday that their hostel was overbooked and they were moved, free of charge, to the five-star, 1,015-room Roosevelt Hotel, near Madison Avenue, for the last four nights of their stay.

Angela Lancini, head of sixth form at the school, who is leading the group, said: "I was sleeping in a bunk bed for seven nights, so in contrast this is amazing.

"The Roosevelt has got 24-hour doormen, luggage trollies and a big chandelier in the lobby – it's beautiful.

"When we found out we were coming here we couldn't believe it.

"We've had breakfast in the diner every morning and the hotel has given us lunches we take out with us."

The group has spent 12 days trapped in the US by the storm, which destroyed homes and caused buildings to be evacuated.

Now that the worst of the storm has passed, the girls have been exploring the sights of New York and making the most of their remaining days there.

Much of Manhattan is back to normal following the freak weather, although more than one million people in New York and New Jersey are still without power.

Mrs Lancini said evidence of the devastation can still be seen in parts of the city.

She said: "There are lots of upturned trees in Central Park – big trees just lying there which have been torn out, you can see their roots."

Four of the group were due to arrive back today while the rest will land on home soil tomorrow morning.

Five of the group were supposed to take their GCSE English Language re-sits tomorrow morning. However, the school successfully applied for the exams to be moved a day to accommodate travel plans.

School spokeswoman Anne Whitlock said: "The main issue was them flying back, then going straight into the exams with no rest."

Stranded Leicestershire schoolgirls due to fly home today


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