On both shores, LIers prep for Hurricane Sandy

Frank Forcinom, 50, of Long Beach, helps his Frank Forcinom, 50, of Long Beach, helps his friend Patrick Flynn, 55, board up his Long Beach home in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. (Oct. 27, 2012) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

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In the calm before the storm Saturday, Long Islanders along the North and South Shores got ready for Sandy.

In Long Beach, city workers used tractors to push huge mounds of sand near the boardwalk. Walls of sand surrounded the beach's lifeguard shack, which was swept away by wind and waves last year during Tropical Storm Irene.

The shack is battered and a little worse for wear, but still standing -- it has floated away five times in storms, said Jannine Gillespie, 52, wife of Paul Gillespie, the city's chief of lifeguards.

"They always mound," she said, referring to the sand banks surrounding the shack. "There's only so much you can do. It's all about Mother Nature."

On the boardwalk, Kariann Marmo, 40, and her husband said they stocked up on food and water, but weren't worried -- similar fear surrounded Irene last year, they said, and they were evacuated from their Oceanside home but never lost power.

"This time I am not leaving unless we really have to, because there was no reason to last time," Marmo said.

But some prepared for the worst. The parking lot at the Long Beach Waldbaum's was packed, and almost every cart pushed through the store held cases of bottled water; gallon jugs had run out by around noon.

On the North Shore, Coast Guard Auxiliary Officer John Mangelli, 46, of Bayville, stocked up on water, batteries, flashlights and a rope to tie his outside belongings down. Mangelli also plans to buy life jackets and an inflatable lifeboat, he said.

"We haven't had the perfect storm in a while," Mangelli said. "There is no question that this storm is coming and it could be pretty bad. . . . If I am staying I want to be prepared as much as possible."

As a precaution, Sean Flanning of Eatons Neck filled more than 100 bags with 86 pounds of sand each, hoping to help keep his friend's house that is about 100 feet from the beach from flooding.

"We have no idea what is in store," said Flanning, 22, adding his friend's home was flooded during Irene.

In Bay Shore, Fire Island homeowners flocked to the ferries so they could return to close up their houses there before the storm hits -- and before the island is evacuated at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Judy Freedman of Scarsdale was waiting for a ferry to Ocean Beach Saturday afternoon -- she was worried she'd left some windows open.

"I'm going to make sure the storm doesn't go into my house," she said.

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