UT students stranded in New York during winter storm

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Some University of Tennessee students are finally back in Knoxville after being stranded in New York City in the recent winter storm.

A group of advertising students went to New York for a few days planning to come back on Saturday, but all that changed when nearly three feet of snow fell on the city.

“Thursday we knew it was going to be serious, so we had to start letting our teachers know things are happening. We were supposed to leave Saturday,” said Phoebe Spooner.

GALLERY:UT Students Stranded in New York

Spooner and a few of her classmates were enjoying their time in the city, but woke up to a big surprise the day they were supposed to head back south.

“Saturday morning, just overnight, inches and inches,” she said.

Nearly three feet of snow caused a travel mess. Their flights were cancelled, so they spent Saturday enjoying it.

“Saturday some of us took the opportunity to run out and play in the snow. We did the whole snowball fight in Times Square and ran through Central Park,” said Spooner.

With virtually no chance of catching a flight the group spread out across the city.

“I’m 6-foot-1 and it came up to my thigh, so it was insane. And that wasn’t the snowplowed piled up sides. That was the untouched neighborhoods,” said Spooner. “It was definitely a workout in the back roads because you’re just highstepping.”

By Sunday the goal was to get home.

“Get to the airport, list yourself standby, good luck, I’ll see you in Knoxville,” said Spooner.

It would be another day before any of them would leave New York, taking any flight they could find that would end up back in Knoxville.

Eventually they all arrived home with a tale to tell from the Blizzard of 2016.

“Pretty much everyone just ran wild. We’ve never seen that much snow before,” said Spooner.

The last group of them got back in Knoxville late Monday night.

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