Long Island residents and merchants braced Saturday for Hermine, cautiously optimistic the tropical storm wouldn’t wash out their Labor Day weekend plans.
BayVue Restaurant and Lounge in Lindenhurst planned to operate as usual Sunday, despite warnings of high winds and coastal flooding.
“We’re going to stay open,” general manager Gloria Nacci vowed Saturday. “We’re here for the neighborhood.”
Nacci said the Island has faced far worse storms in recent years, including superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
“We’re gonna tough it out,” she said. “We can get through this.”
At South Shore marinas, officials were taking extra precautions 24 hours before Hermine’s arrival, making sure boats were securely tied down or stowed.
Michael Rodriguez, 65, and his wife decided to cut their Fire Island vacation short — hours before Suffolk officials urged a voluntary evacuation from the barrier island.
“I heard about the storm,” said Rodriguez, of Huntington, as he wiped down his cream-colored Sundancer motorboat at a Lindenhurst dock.
Bob Stefania, 47, of Dix Hills was also at his boat, but only to take some protective measures.
“I’m not going out in it,” he said.
Stefania planned to anchor his boat farther away from the marina in hopes of preventing storm swells from slamming the vessel into the dock.
Across the flood-prone coast, business owners debated whether Hermine would ruin a normally lucrative holiday weekend.
On Freeport’s Nautical Mile, some restaurant managers remained undecided Saturday afternoon about whether they’d open their doors Sunday and Monday.
“We’ll know in the morning,” said Bracco’s general manager Michael Masone. “We’ll wake up tomorrow and if the weather isn’t so bad, we’ll open. If the weather is bad, everyone gets to stay home and enjoy family.”
After enjoying lunch in Freeport, Jackie Riker, 33, of Commack said her weekend plans include friends visiting from Manhattan. Those plans haven’t changed — so far.
“I’m not scared,” she said of the looming storm. “Not so much.”