The forensics team from Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul is stranded in New York City, but the storm couldn't stop their homework from arriving.

"We faxed them over their work for advanced chemistry, biology and reading. They're also doing some Latin," said Susan Whalen, director of forensics at Nova.

The eight juniors and seniors competed at the Empire Mock Trial invitational, an international competition, this past weekend. They were scheduled to fly out of New York on Monday evening, but their flights were canceled in anticipation of the storm.

"We were trying to get them out Sunday morning, and continued to try, until we were told that they were going to have to stay there," Whalen said.

Linda Stack-Nelson, a junior on the team, said most of the team was unaware that a major storm was headed toward the East Coast.

"I wasn't prepared for the whole hurricane business, and we were a little bit surprised," Stack-Nelson said. "We are lucky to be all right."

The students are staying at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, which Stack-Nelson said is considered an evacuation point in that sector of the city. "We were in a safe place," she said. "Being from Minnesota, we don't really have a lot of hurricanes coming off the Great Lakes, so we didn't know what to think about it."

While New York is at a standstill, the students have been playing plenty of board games and catching up on schoolwork. "It's very exciting. They've been sending us scans of our textbook pages," Stack-Nelson said. "We are a mock-trial team. Since we are some of the more academic people at the school, some students were really worried about classes. I am hoping that the teachers know that we couldn't do anything about the hurricane."

Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028 Twitter: @amatos12