A FORMER Grafton woman now living on the New Jersey coast was sleeping in the basement of her family's home yesterday (AEST) as Hurricane Sandy left a trail of destruction on America's north-east region.

Rachael Lodgek's (nee Loadsman) told APN Newsdesk via Facebook she and her family were "safe for now" and had not been evacuated from their Linwood home, just five minutes from hard-hit Atlantic City.

She said the super storm, reported to have claimed the lives of at least 13 people in the US and Canada, was destroying beach towns "all around us".

"My in-laws have a house on the bay and streets from the ocean in Long Beach Island. The ocean did meet the bay on parts of the island. Very scary."

Mrs Lodgek said they had lost power to their home about 9am yesterday (ADST).

She said the wind was "very strong", but the rain appeared to have stopped.

A combination of the strong winds and lack of power led to the decision to wait out the storm in the basement.

"Our house is surrounded by trees and they are rocking!" she wrote. "I can only imagine how bad it will be in the morning."

The mother of three, who still has strong links to Grafton through her parents and other family, said most people in the community were prepared for the storm.

"Most people were prepared for the worst as we were hit really hard with an unexpected storm in August that left us without power and supplies for a week," she wrote.

Concerns

If any Australians are concerned about loved ones in the disaster zone they can contact the consular emergency centre on 1300 555 135.



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