Long Islanders affected by Sandy face storm fears anew

Freeport resident Thomas Mason and his wife Marian Freeport resident Thomas Mason and his wife Marian survey the lost of their home after Sandy. (Dec. 7, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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After superstorm Sandy deposited 9 feet of water in his house, Freeport resident Thomas K. Mason spent a good part of this week securing his house for the next weather threat.

Mason, 61, couldn't contain his aggravation Friday as he and many other victims of Sandy faced storm fears anew. "Do I need more damage on top of what's existing? No," he said.

He was covering windows, putting plastic sheets on floor sections that were not ruined, and getting workers to place more tarpaulin on his roof -- all, he said, to make sure the good parts of the house "don't cave in" with heavy snow.

Like others whose lives were disrupted by Sandy, Mason sought refuge at his family's temporary quarters at a relative's house to wait out the blizzard.

"After everything is done, you pray," he said, "because what else is there to do?"

Long Islanders who lived in affected shore areas like West Islip, Lindenhurst, Blue Point and Long Beach said they were on the alert, concerned as much with the snowstorm as with the dangers posed by high tide.

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"We are a little on edge with this storm because we're still feeling the repercussions of the last one," said Lisa Hofelich, 43, a Blue Point resident whose basement flooded during Sandy. That storm destroyed the town-owned bulkhead that she said protected her house, a stone's throw from Patchogue Bay.

Preparing for the blizzard, she stocked up on food, gassed up two vehicles, filled up her generator and several gas cans -- just in case. "From here on in only Mother Nature knows," she said. "I have to tell you, I look exhausted. I feel exhausted."

Freeport resident Shakira Bisonó, living in a house under repairs, was "feeling a little anxiety" about the snow, but said she had enough food and supplies.

"Sandy got this in our heads that we all need to prepare a little better, but we are not panicking," said Bisonó, 35.

Erica Leflein, whose family moved back to their Long Beach apartment less than a month ago, had planned a day in with her son, Cameron, 3, "watching TV and organizing games." She mostly worried about losing power.

"It's so cold out," she said. "At this point the contingency plan is to wear enough clothing and bundle up."

Some shorefront homeowners, like Sandra Galian of West Islip, said they were becoming resigned to a new reality of "crazy weather patterns" for coastal areas.

Galian, her husband and two boys, ages 7 and 10, were living in temporary housing in Babylon, their fourth location in the three months since Sandy wrecked their ranch house.

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"I am trying to stay positive," Galian said. "I am trying to think we'll just get a lot of snow this weekend, we'll make some cocoa, make a snowman and we'll try to have some fun."

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