A TEACHER from Ellesmere Port fled her New York apartment as Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the city.

Former Whitby High School pupil Claire Louise Bourne, 32, was evacuated from her ground floor apartment in Brooklyn close to zone A, the worst affected area in New York.

Claire sought refuge at a friend’s house in Queens – an area unaffected by the flood surges.

She planned to cycle and walk to her apartment, fearing trees felled by the winds would be blocking roads.

Speaking to the Pioneer yesterday, Claire added: “We are waiting to hear from Mayor Bloomberg what’s happening.

“We are going to go back to the apartment to assess the damage but don’t know if the bridge between Queens and Brooklyn will be open.

“I’m pretty worried I’m going to see some serious flood damage at my apartment. I tried to put stuff high up, worrying about my clothes.”

Originally from Great Sutton, Claire has lived in the city for six years since taking up a job as a teacher of six and seven year olds at the United Nations International School.

Claire, who attended Gorsthills Primary School in Ellesmere Port, added: “I took my passport and social security card, a jacket, some clothes and went to stay with friends.

“The panic came quite late. Because of Hurricane Irene last year, there was an atmosphere of ‘we’ll all be OK’.

“As the flood waters were arriving early on that’s when people started to panic. Then when the crane fell it made people panic.

“I went to the supermarket on Sunday and people were panic buying batteries and water. Bread and peanut butter were selling out too!

“When the power went, the extent was shocking. We went to look across the water and we could see the blackout across lower Manhattan. That is unheard of.”