Visitors from Northeast watch Sandy from afar - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Visitors from Northeast watch Sandy from afar

AP photo of Sandy hitting the beach at Sandy Cape, New Jersey AP photo of Sandy hitting the beach at Sandy Cape, New Jersey

New Orleans, La. - Superstorm Sandy canceled thousands of flights, crippling travel to and from the East Coast.  Some were fortunate to escape the storm's path and landed in New Orleans.

"If you can still hear me, we need you to hunker down and get to the highest point possible in the dwelling that you're in," warned New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Monday.

Gary Bailey of Milltown, New Jersey heard that warning from miles and miles away.  "Well, let's put it this way," said Bailey, "I'd rather be here than there."

Bailey is riding out the storm in New Orleans.  Having spent seven days without electricity after Hurricane Irene in 2011, he's thankful to be far away from Sandy.

Rich Johnson and Ellen Lucas of Kinnelon, New Jersey feel the same way but they are worried.

"People are saying it's the worst they've ever seen," said Johnson. "We're very concerned, but again, you've got to realize what you can control and what you can't."

"We're worried about what's going on now and the aftermath of the next couple of weeks as everybody tries to dig out from this thing," added Lucas.

Even if they wanted to return home right now, they couldn't.  Sandy has grounded thousands of flights.

The flight cancellations are bound to affect businesses in some way, but there is positive news for the local economy.  While some people can't get here because of Sandy, others can't leave.

"Well, you have some cancellations and you have some people who are staying over until this whole thing blows over," said Alfred Groos, president and GM of the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter.

Groos says people who are watching Sandy from afar might want to consider themselves lucky.  "We've been through hurricanes before in New Orleans" Groos said.  "We know what they're all about and it's better to be somewhere else, so you might as well be in New Orleans.  It's a great place."

The visitors from New Jersey seem to agree.  "In spite of everything, you try to have the best time you can in a place that's a great place to have a good time," said Johnson.

Gary Bailed added, "I'm going to have a lot of fun and I'm not going to worry about Milltown, New Jersey."

The visitors say, even though they're trying not to worry about it right now, they are concerned about what they'll find when they return home.  They say parts of their state are still trying to recover from Hurricane Irene. 

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