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Epic storm leaves indelible mark on Long Island

The destructive force of a deadly nor'easter of historic proportions left an indelible mark: thousands without power, countless trees uprooted - smashing homes and cars and closing roads - and the worst coastal flooding in nearly 20 years.

Gov. David A. Paterson said in a statement last night that he has directed the state to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency about federal disaster assistance. State assessment teams will arrive on Long Island Monday to gauge the storm's damage, said John Gibb, director of the state Emergency Management Office. Suffolk, where wind gusts reached 70 mph in Bridgehampton, claimed at least $30 million in property damage. Nassau officials said they were still assessing the toll yesterday.

Several officials compared the devastation to that wrought by Hurricane Gloria, a Category 4 hurricane in 1985, or the Perfect Storm of 1991, a nor'easter memorialized in film. The latest enormous storm system cut a path of destruction from Virginia to central New England, but meteorologists said the storm saved a special wrath for Long Island, where 4 1/2 inches of rain fell in some places.

The storm took the life of a Brooklyn woman leaving a party in Bay Shore who was killed by a fallen tree. And more than 75,000 homes on Long Island had no power late last night, prompting LIPA to call in teams from Canada and upstate New York for help.

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