Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

October 29, 2012

Indiana couple stranded in 'deserted' N.Y.

A 55-year-old Indiana woman’s trip to New York City has offered a glimpse few have witnessed: The Big Apple is all but empty.

Now Susan Watkins and her daughter find themselves stranded with little to do and almost nowhere to eat.

They were scheduled to fly home Monday but their flight, like hundreds of others, has been canceled.

Their sighting-seeing trip came at the time when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered an evacuation of 375,000 people.Told to leave where those living in low-lying areas along the coast of Brooklyn, Staten Island and lower Manhattan. Watkins’ hotel is in Manhattan, but is not in an evacuation zone.

Watkins says she’s not sure when she’ll get home.

“When we heard our flight was canceled, we decided to make the best of it,” Watkins said. The duo saw the sights, ate out and took in “The Lion King” on Broadway.

But when they got up at 5 a.m. Monday morning to see a taping of Good Morning America, they discovered a nearly-deserted Times Square that looked like a scene from a post-apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster.

“It was pretty much empty,” Watkins said.

“That’s really kind of odd because we were there before and it was elbow-to-elbow. Just completely packed.”

Watkins said the only restaurant she’s been able to find open in a 10-mile radius is a small deli.

“Everything’s closed,” she said. “McDonald’s, Starbucks, everything.”

Watkins said she’s not scared of the hurricane. She’s more frustrated with the extra hotel charges she’s racking up.

“We’re in a hotel,” Watkins said. “In New York. In Manhattan. It’s not exactly cheap.”

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Details for this story were provided by The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind.

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