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Long Islanders brave second nor’easter in less than a week

Trisha Mele of Glen Cove uses her bare

Trisha Mele of Glen Cove uses her bare hands to clear snow from her car at the Mobil gas station on Glen Cove Avenue in Glen Cove on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Two wild storms within a week. That’s twice having to find someone to watch the kids. Twice slogging through a commute full of delays. Twice worrying if the power would go out.

Long Islanders coped with it all, as they always do. But Wednesday’s storm, coming so soon after a spate of springlike days, had them all but shaking their fists at the sky.

Their collective response: That’s enough, thank you.

Nonetheless, they made it through with as good spirits as they could muster. After all, they know they’ve survived a lot worse.

Several people sought shelter in a Middle Island Walmart during the storm as the nearby road became impassable.

Route 25 was never officially closed, according to police, but several drivers waited out the storm in their cars as conditions worsened, and about a half dozen came into the big-box retailer where they were given a snack and a cup of coffee, said assistant manager Alfredo Aguilar.

It was a reminder of a 2013 storm when stranded travelers were forced to spend the night in the store — but this time it wasn’t nearly as bad.

“It took like a half-hour to get from here to there,” Aguilar said, gesturing to a stoplight a quarter-mile up the road. “But once they opened the road again, people were leaving.”

In Bayville, on Long Island Sound, Wednesday’s storm shifted into a higher gear at about noon. What was sleet turned into a hard-driving snow, which at times looked like it was coming down sideways.

The village has a lot of bad memories about flooding. Superstorm Sandy hit hard there, and last week’s storm had the water along Bayville Avenue flowing more than a foot high.

Looking out the window at the sea wall and the shore beyond it just upset pizzeria owner Pasquale Del Prete.

He wants the sea wall raised at the end of the beach parking lot across the street. “It’s not safe anymore,” he said.

Last week’s storm cut off electricity for almost three days. Del Prete had to run the place with a generator, but business was slim, he said.

There are always going to be people like Tom Bellidora — he walked away from Wednesday’s storm with a shrug. His auto body shop ran smoothly. He drove a little slower.

“Not an issue,” said Bellidora, 64, of Glen Cove. “I’m kind of used to it.”

Awilda Deolmeda, 42, is getting used to it, too. She was waiting for a 5 p.m. train at the LIRR station in Mineola.

Deolmeda estimated her normal two-hour commute home to the Bronx would take three hours Wednesday night.

On Friday, when the last nor’easter struck Long Island, she said her commute home took four long hours.

“I guess I’ll have to wait, read a good book, and make friends with whoever is sitting next to me,” Deolmeda said.

With Vera Chinese and Chau Lam

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