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Tourists defy Hurricane Sandy to take pictures in front of the White House

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Click on photo to enlarge or download: Krummi Kristgamssom, left, and Nathan Timbli, college students from Sweden, were heading to New York on a connecting flight from Sweden to Washington. Their flight was canceled because of the hurricane, so they took the opportunity to take some pictures iClick on photo to enlarge or download: Krummi Kristgamssom, left, and Nathan Timbli, college students from Sweden, were heading to New York on a connecting flight from Sweden to Washington. Their flight was canceled because of the hurricane, so they took the opportunity to take some pictures iWASHINGTON - The White House witnessed an unusual, crowdless, day on Monday. With Hurricane Sandy approaching, the rain started to get heavier and the wind blew even stronger. The number of tourists who stop to take pictures in front of the president’s residence had shrunk remarkably.

Still, some tourists came around, despite the rough weather, to take pictures and make memories because it was their only chance and most museums were closed.

Daniella Cabezas, 29, who works as an office administrator at the Nature Conservancy in Santiago, Chile, and her husband, Marcello Grondona, came to Washington on a business trip. They were both in New York when they heard about the hurricane, so they took one of the last trains to Washington before Amtrak halted service Sunday.

Cabezas said that they were not prepared for the storm. “We only have waterproof clothes,” she said. They had no food or umbrellas, but they were able to eat at their hotel near the White House.

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Tourists from China make a quick visit to the White House on Monday as rain from Hurricane Sandy began to flood streets and small steams in the capital. SHFWire photo by Monica Ibrahim.Click on photo to enlarge or download: Tourists from China make a quick visit to the White House on Monday as rain from Hurricane Sandy began to flood streets and small steams in the capital. SHFWire photo by Monica Ibrahim.The couple was trying to catch a plane from New York to Atlanta, but they couldn’t. “No flights, no train, no cars, no buses – nothing at all,” Cabezas said.

Krummi Kristgamssom and Nathan Timbli, both18, who are studying at Johannes Gutenberg University in Sweden, were going to New York on a connecting flight from Sweden through  Washington. But their flight to New York was canceled, so they are staying in town for couple of days.

They were excited about going to New York, despite the rough weather predicted for the next few days.

“New York is always cool. It doesn’t matter if it is rainy,” Kristgamssom said. “Hopefully, the weather will get better and we will enjoy it.”

Steven Wong,45, who works as a tour guide for Tai Pan travel agency accompanied a group of 56 tourists from different parts of the world around the city and to take pictures of the White House.

Wong said that the group will go on a bus tour around the city Monday because all museums were closed.

Reach reporter Monica Ibrahim at monica.ibrahim@shns.com or 202-326-9861. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.

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