As Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the East Coast, Long Islanders prepare for the storm by buying supplies and getting their boats out of the water.
Boats strapped to docks in Lindenhurst
Dan Maynihan and his wife, Maureen Bythrow, strapped four hurricane cords from their 36-foot Carver boat to the docks of Anchorage Yacht Club in Lindenhurst.
Instead of taking their boat, named “A Boat Time,” out of the water, they had to strap it, as securely as possible, to the wooden docks.
More than a hundred boats are docked at Anchorage Yacht Club, and as it nears the end of the season, many people schedule appointments to store their boats for the winter.
“We are 88th in line and they aren’t accepting bribes,” said Maynihan, 51, of Lindenhurst.
As Hurricane Sandy approaches Long Island, Maynihan and Bythrow spent Saturday taking down the canvas, emptying the fridge and tying down the furniture on their boat.
“There’s nothing we can do at this point,” said Bythrow, 49, of Lindenhurst. “You just have to hope and pray.”
LIers get their French press coffee makers ahead of Sandy
There are many things one might expect to be on a list of emergency supplies for a hurricane, but that might not include a French press coffee maker.
“People always want their coffee,” laughed Noel Hare, owner of Herrick Hardware in Southampton, part of the Ace Hardware chain.
Over the past two days, Hare, 63, of Southampton, has had people coming to his store to pick up supplies before Hurricane Sandy hits Long Island.
“For a hurricane, we’ll do four or five times as much business,” Hare said. “Batteries, flashlights, propane, radios, ice packs, tarps, bungees, pumps, rakes. These are all things people buy.”
Hare’s list continues with items ranging from propane stoves and firewood to bathtub stoppers.
The once-stocked shelves now are almost bare after two days of people preparing for the storm. Hare was already out of D and six-volt batteries and will not restock until Monday.
“Water and food are the most important things to have,” Hare said. “But the most popular items I sell are batteries and flashlights.”
-- Andrew Kozak
Babylon boat owners prepare for Hurricane Sandy
Sal Macaluso helped his friend Frank Alessi take his boat out of the Babylon Cove at the docks next to the Babylon Village pool.
“Everybody is getting ready by pulling their boats out today,” said Macaluso, 59, of Babylon as he touched the boat’s flat tire with his hand. “See these cracks right here, that’s tire rot. That’s what caused it.”
Macaluso still has to pull his own boat out of the water, tie down lawn furniture and put away a tent in his backyard.
Just a few months after buying his house in 1996, Macaluso had his first experience with flooding when a storm caused Babylon Bay to rise above the docks in the backyard of his home.
“It just came up over the docks,” he said. “It was a wake-up call.”
Then last year during Tropical Storm Irene, Macaluso and his family evacuated to his sister-in-law’s house in East Islip. After the storm passed, they came home to a flooded garage.
“They’re predicting it’s worse than Irene,” Macaluso said. “But I hope it changes direction and calms down.”
-- Jessica Stallone
Boats in Hampton Bays moved before Hurricane Sandy
At Hampton's Landing Marina, a 20-foot boat was lifted out of the water with ease by a giant hydraulic crane, driven across a parking lot filled with more than 75 boats and was placed on three feeble steel stands.
Marina owner Jon Coester and his employee Geoff Maguire have repeated this process more than 25 times in the last two days as they prepared for Hurricane Sandy to hit Long Island.
“We’re taking our boats out of the water to make sure they don’t get hit,” said Coester, 48, of Hampton Bays. “A number of things can happen. If the waves are big enough, the docks can break and other boats can hit ours.”
As Hurricane Sandy storms up the East Coast, Long Islanders have been preparing themselves for the worst. Coester and Maguire have been through storms before and are taking all necessary precautions.
Ropes will be used to fasten the docks together and sandbags will block their office, which sits along Smith Creek. Hampton's Landing holds primarily boats less than 25 feet in length, so some boats have been left in the water at the request of their owners.
“During Irene, some owners said they would wait out the storm,” said Maguire, 62, of East Quogue. “They sunk. There were no totals, but insurance adjusters usually priced the damages around $7,000 to $10,000. If it’s a 40-foot boat, the damages can be near a quarter-million dollars.”
Coester and Maguire have been working around the clock to get all the boats out that they can.
“Just about every one of our customers has called and told us that they want us to take their boats out,” Coester said. “We have about 12 or 15 more for today.”
-- Andrew Kozak
Hampton Bays woman stocks up on batteries, flashlights
Jackie Hughes spent Tropical Storm Irene working at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue as a nurse for more than 36 hours, caring for patients and waiting out the storm.
“When in the health field, there is no not showing up to work,” said Hughes, 47, of Hampton Bays. “Even in bad weather. I knew it was very improbable that I would come home that night so I prepared for the worst.”
But this year, Hughes will be at home as Hurricane Sandy barrels toward Long Island. She and her family are taking the necessary steps to make sure they will be able to wait out ‘Frankenstorm’.
“I have batteries, more flashlights and charcoal,” Hughes said. “I will actually be able to throw my food on the grill if power goes out.”
While shopping at Shinnecock True Value, Hughes laid out several packages of AA and D batteries. Battery-powered LED lights and flashlights crowded the small counter.
“Water is the most important thing to have,” Hughes said. “I have a stash at my house of about eight gallons and going to get a few more cases.”
At its peak late Monday and into Tuesday morning, Hurricane Sandy could bring wind gusts of 80 miles per hour. Suffolk County officials have declared a state of emergency for the county and the Town of Islip ordered mandatory evacuation of Fire Island.
Hughes said her house is about a quarter of a mile inland and elevated above sea level, so she is not too concerned about flooding. However, she has cleared her property in preparation for the winds.
“I already started moving my chairs and tables into the basement, I don’t want any of that stuff flying away,” Hughes said.
-- Andrew Kozak
LIer gave birth during Hurricane Gloria, prepares for Sandy
Thirty-three years ago, Ellen Scioscia gave birth to her daughter during Hurricane Gloria, which hit Long Island in 1985.
No stranger to hurricanes, Scioscia prepared Saturday for Hurricane Sandy.
“I have a generator and we filled up gas for our car,” said Scioscia, 58, of West Islip. “I even took down my Halloween decorations.”
Scioscia’s precautionary planning began a few days ago when she started putting away her valuables and bought extra flashlights, food and water.
“I have what I need,” she said, standing outside the Stuff-A-Bagel bagel shop on Montauk Highway in West Islip with her 4-year-old grandson. “And my daughter works here so I have all of the bagels I need.”
Scioscia’s daughter, Lauren Maloney, 33, lives in Brentwood.
“If I need to get to high ground, I can always go to there,” said Scioscia. “I think it’s going to be more talk than actual. At least, I hope.”
-- Jessica Stallone
Above: Noel Hare, 63, owner of Herrick Hardware in Southampton, has had an influx of customers as LIers get ready for Hurricane Sandy. Batteries and flashlights have flown off the shelves, along with a variety of other supplies ranging from tub stoppers to French press coffee makers. (Oct. 27, 2012)