A group of Corner Brook stylists arrived home safe on Friday after a hair-raising experience in the Big Apple.
The women found themselves stranded in New York at the height of Superstorm Sandy, and they credit a hometown girl living in the city with turning around what had been an unpleasant experience.
Vanessa Burry, Fallon Bennett and Jackie Costello were there for some specialized cosmetics training, and had no idea that they were about to have the worst hair day ever.
When Superstorm Sandy showed up, they were kicked out of their hotel because there was no power to get them up to their twelfth floor room.
"That was basically when it started to get really, really bad," said Burry.
They hailed a cabbie to take them to the airport, but couldn't make it all the way because the roads were blocked.
The driver charged them $50 and ordered them out of the cab.
"He took us to a part of New York that is not safe," said Burry. "He pulled over, we handed over the money, and he said you have to get out."
The driver left them on a freeway in Queens, where they were soon picked up by a concerned paramedic.
"He just took our bags and said 'get in the back of the ambulance,' and took us to a bus terminal," recounted Burry.
But when they arrived, there were no busses running.
Meanwhile, a cop on patrol told them not to stay at the station because the area — known for murders and drug trafficking — was way too dangerous.
"Scared wasn't the word," admitted Burry. "Scared was not the word that we could even describe how we were."
Back home in Newfoundland, the owner of the salon where they work was getting worried.
She remembered an article she read that week in the Western Star about Nancy Buckle, a Corner Brook woman living in New York, who was offering to help anyone who needed help because of Sandy.
The boss called Buckle and gave her the stranded women's cell phone number.
The trio was still at the bus station where the ambulance dropped them, when they received a welcome phone call from a stranger.
"When I talked to the Western Star, I had no idea there would be Newfoundlanders stranded in New York City," said Buckle.
She fed the women and gave them a place to stay.
"She is an angel. Our guardian angel in New York City," said Burry.
But Buckle said while talking it over with her husband, they decided it was the only right thing to do.
"He said, 'if we were in Newfoundland, nobody would hesitate for a second to take care of us. We have to go pick them up and take care of them, it’s just what you do,'" remembered Buckle.
The nightmare may be over or Vanessa and her colleagues, but back in New York, it's still very real for Buckle and her husband.
She says she's been inspired by stories of New Yorkers going the extra mile to help others.
"My story is not unique," said Buckle. "There are amazing people doing so much more. I think the best of human nature comes out in times like this."
As a reward, she can expect to be pampered at the Silver Scissors Spa and Salon in Corner Brook.
Burry says next time Buckle and her husband are in town, the stylists will give the couple a gift of all the TLC the spa has to offer.