(RNN) – Ashley Redmond and Teresa Hessler tried to outrun Sandy.
They were on a "girl's vacation" in Manhattan, got told to evacuate and took the last train out of Penn Station, heading north to Albany, NY, to catch a flight to take them back to Green Bay, WI. As they were standing in the airport, flights were canceled left and right, so they rented a car.
The GPS took them into Canada so they could go home through Michigan. Unfortunately, Sandy was following.
"Snow doesn't really scare us because we're from Wisconsin; the only thing that I hate is that this rain because I can't see the road," Redmond said Monday night. "And the wind is insane."
Conditions deteriorated; the wind picked up, it started to snow and that part of Canada isn't very populous. The women who are used to winter weather conditions had never seen anything like it.
"We were going 30 miles an hour on the interstate. We pulled over to the nearest city, New London, Ontario. We were kind of in the middle of nowhere," Redmond said. "But the fabulous Canadian people were kind and offered us their cell phones if we needed them."
After staying overnight in a hotel, the women were back on the road where conditions were windy and it was drizzling.
"But in the daytime it's much easier to drive than in the pitch black," Redmond said.
Millions of East Coast residents rode out the storm listening to trees fall and siding ripped off homes – many in the dark.
Roughly 80 homes in New York City burned, lower Manhattan saw a record storm surge of 14 feet but Michelle Lee never lost power.
She believes living farther north on the island – and with many tall buildings in between her and waterfronts – protected her from much of the damage.
Her office, however, is in Battery Park City and is flooded.
New Jersey has been hit extremely hard with flooding, including a breached levee in Moonachie County that caused the evacuation of 800 people.
Christy Anderson, who fled New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, said when Hurricane Irene hit New Jersey last year, the flooded homes reminded her of the damage she saw in 2005. On Monday, as Sandy approached, she was anxious about what the superstorm would bring.
Anderson said via email that her cell phone was charged, but she was refraining from using it because she hasn't has power since 8:30 p.m. ET Monday.
"Many trees and wires down. No floods here. Concrete and steel building is very safe! Noise last night was scary to say the least. Never heard wind like that in my life," she wrote.
She read on her Kindle and tried to sleep, but had little success with the noise from the storm.
"Grateful to have a roof over my head still," she wrote.
Ann Takseraas, of Darien, CT, also was without power but got word out that she and her family are OK. The largest tree in their yard fell, took out a smaller tree and some wires, but it did not land on a structure.
Dave Ullrich lives on a houseboat in Galesville, MD, near Annapolis. He and his wife stayed at a friend's house as Sandy moved through.
"At our shelter house, there was water coming in through the windows, down the chimney," he said.
He and his wife are back on the boat, which doesn't have a scratch on it. They even have electricity, but they're concerned about tidal flooding Tuesday night.
"We'll be trapped on the boat. The boat will be fine, but the dock will be underwater and we won't have power until the waters recede," Ullrich said.
"Annapolis got lucky and we know it, especially after seeing pictures of the Jersey shore and Maryland shore."
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Saturday, August 30 2014 8:30 AM EDT2014-08-30 12:30:45 GMT
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