UPDATED 3:08 A.M.
NYPD makes helicopter rescues on Staten Island
The NYPD posted four dramatic helicopter videos of rescues made from Staten Island rooftops on Tuesday, when members of the Aviation and Scuba unit rescued five adults and one child who were trapped to rising waters.
UPDATED 8:58 P.M.
Great Neck woman learned from Katrina coverage
Great Neck resident Joyce Delson was in charge of five young children Monday — three her own, two her nephews — so she decided to leave little to chance.
Recalling stories of New Orleans residents who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she packed a suitcase. She took her wedding album and, for extra measure, grabbed SD cards with treasured family photos.
And she went to a shelter.
“I was afraid the house might be leveled,” Delson said.
She was one of 82 who sought refuge at Manhasset High School and slept in cots in the school gymnasium, set up by Red Cross volunteers.
The shelter was staffed by police officers, emergency medical technicians and a physician, said Peter Susser, the shelter’s manager. The school still had power from a generator and the shelter had enough food that staff didn’t have room to fit juice boxes and other items in the refrigerator.
Though she had “no regrets” about seeking help, Delson was pining for her place. “The worst thing is we’re away from home and we’re bored.”
-- Scott Eidler
UPDATED 8:56 P.M.
Setting up powerless Nassau Office of Emergency Management
UPDATED 8:47 P.M.
Downed power wires scare Aquebogue residents
Vanessa Farrish, 34, sat in her Aquebogue house with her daughter Brianna, terrified through much of Tuesday afternoon, she said.
Main line wires had arced and burned the road for hours, charring and burning off the top of a pole.
“The way it was blasting, it was scary. But we survived,” she said.
A section of the asphalt road that was burned by the fire appears as if it was molten, and the wires snapped in half and remained on the ground.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Al Hubbard, whose house is right beside the fire. He said LIPA cut power to the lines Monday evening.
Farrish said power appeared to be out for miles to the east along Route 25, or Main Road, beyond Aquebogue. The nearby Aquebogue Elementary School also was without power.
Farrish later found that her family’s pet bird had died during the storm, although she didn’t know whether the unsettling noise from an exploding transformer and arcing power lines had a role in its death.
LIPA crews appeared on the scene Tuesday afternoon and began the process of repairing the lines, clearing the trees and restoring power.
-- Mark Harrington
UPDATED 8:44 P.M.
Trees mourned in North Hempstead
It was at 2:30 p.m. Monday when Anthony LaSalle decided things were not going to bode well for his home in Flower Hill.
Before the worst of the storm hit, a 70-foot tree had crushed his bedroom, where he lives with his wife and three children, ages 3, 8, and 10. Two hours later, a larger tree on the front of his property toppled over, as he watched alongside his shell-shocked neighbors. Later in the night, four trees bordering his property fell. His backyard, with a play area, lay in ruins.
The site on Dartmouth Avenue resembled many others in Flower Hill and elsewhere in the neighboring Village of Plandome. Nearly century-old trees lay crisscrossed in the streets, if not on the tops of people's homes.
"Most of these trees are 80 to 90 years old," LaSalle said. "And those don't stand a chance in a once-in-a-lifetime storm. We were just helpless."
When officials from the Village of Flower Hill came to survey the damage this morning, LaSalle was told there was a lengthy waiting process -- he was No. 24 on a list.
In the Town of North Hempstead, trees are sacred to some residents, and often a selling point for living in the community.
"It really made me think about what I could have done," LaSalle said. "But that's why you buy a house in one of these neighborhoods."
Said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, "They define the character [of the neighborhood]. When they come down, you're just like any other block."
This isn't the first time the town lost century-old, treasured trees.
When a microburst destroyed the Village Green in Great Neck in March 2010, dozens of 100-foot maple and beech trees lay fallen. Earlier this month the village parks department enlisted a wood carver to make art out of the remaining stumps.
"Our goal is to keep the trees," Kaiman said, though he added, "A tree that's coming down is probably reaching the end of its life."
-- Scott Eidler
UPDATED 8:36 P.M.
Anthony LaSalle’s home in Flower Hill struck by 6 trees
UPDATED 8:34 P.M.
Glen Cove restaurant puts a charge in its customers
Stango’s restaurant in Glen Cove opened its doors — and its power outlets — to customers Tuesday who had growling bellies and dying cellphones.
“Bring your cellphones, we’ll charge them for you while you eat,” owners wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Hot food, cold beer, rocks for your scotch.”
The restaurant’s phone lines were down, but longtime patrons got the message.
“I’m on Facebook, and I’ve been coming here since I was in diapers,” said Ed Booth, 49, of Bayville, who brought his neighbors to dinner Tuesday at Stango’s. “We needed the relief. We came here to get our phones charged and get out of the cold, because our house is cold right now.”
-- Emily Ngo
UPDATED 8:32 P.M.
Shelter Island teams up to help elderly woman
The ferries were shutting down for the day and Sandy’s storm surge was brewing Monday, but that didn’t stop Shelter Islanders from helping a 90-year-old woman get medical care.
Residents recounted that the woman had to get to a hospital due to respiratory problems, and a volunteer ambulance had gotten her to the vicinity of the South Ferry landing.
But the dock was under about 3 feet of water.
A “Good Samaritan” watching nearby offered his pickup truck, which had higher clearance, to take her farther.
“The rain was howling. We had a tarp over her so she wouldn’t get drenched,” said Bill Clark, 71, who owns South Ferry with his brother, Cliff. “The saltwater was spraying everywhere. But there was an outpouring of people helping to make sure this woman got to the hospital.”
An ambulance waiting in Sag Harbor took her to Southampton Hospital. Shelter Island Police Chief Jim Read said she was in stable condition.
More than a dozen volunteer ambulance, firefighters and ferry crew assisted in the effort.
-- Candice Ferrette and Victor Manuel Ramos
UPDATED 8:29 P.M.
Harvard Drive North in Woodbury covered in debris
UPDATED 8:26 P.M.
Brookhaven waives landfill fees for storm debris
The Town of Brookhaven will waive fees at its landfill in Yaphank for storm-related debris, including branches and garbage, until Nov. 3, the town said in a statement.
The town is also waiving fees for brush and yard waste at its Manorville compost site.
Materials transported in commercial vehicles will not be accepted, the town said.
The landfill is located at 350 Horseblock Rd. in Yaphank and is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m.-noon.
The Manorville composting site is located on Papermill Road in Manorville. It is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Call the town at 631-451-TOWN for more information.
-- Carl Corry
UPDATED 7 P.M.
Port Jefferson’s downtown deals with Sandy
Businesses in Port Jefferson's historic downtown district were reeling from the effects of Sandy's storm surges that pushed water under many storefront doors.
On Tuesday afternoon, Tom Veale, owner of the Port Jefferson Motorcycle Store, mopped water from his storefront at 106 W. Broadway, where water marks on his wall showed stormwater reaching more than a foot.
"Having been here 15 years and seeing my fair share of storms, I still had no idea it would be as bad as it was," Veale said.
Veale already had plans to reopen his store at a new location on Main Street, so he moved the bulk of the store’s merchandise there before the storm.
"We had large dumpsters floating out on West Broadway, it was really bad," Veale said, though most of the water had receded by the time he arrived at his shop at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
One of the few restaurants open Tuesday was It's All Greek to Me on Main Street, and despite working under a dim backup light because of power outages in the area, owner Mike Sfyrakis continued to bake cheese pizza pies in a gas-fired oven.
"Business has been good," said Sfyrakis, who opened his shop at 2 p.m. and sold some 15 pies in the span of two hours. "The water didn't hurt us too much. Hopefully things will get back to normal."
By Tuesday afternoon, several area residents were strolling along the Port Jefferson Marina, the calm water giving no indication of its previous wrath.
-- Laura Figueroa
UPDATED 6:50 P.M.
Kids sit on a downed tree in Garden City
UPDATE 6:22 P.M.
Garden City native recalls fleeing from Katrina
Pam Ahearn grew up in Garden City, but has lived in New Orleans for 29 years. Seven years ago, she and her family fled the Crescent City ahead of Hurricane Katrina’s catastrophic strike for her childhood home on Long Island.
Sitting in the darkened living room of her parents’ house — which was without power after Sandy's destructive passage on Monday night — she mused about the irony of the situation.
“I feel like my name should be ‘Hurricane Harriet.’ I feel like they’re following me,” Ahearn said, speaking of hurricanes Katrina in 2005, Gustav in 2008, Isaac in August, and now Sandy.
Ahearn, who owns a literary agency in New Orleans, recalled how she and her husband, Barry, an English professor at Tulane University, and their son, Thomas, spent up to a year in Garden City after Katrina.
Ahearn’s son, a senior at the time, graduated from her alma mater, Garden City High School.
A week ago, Ahearn said, she arrived on Long Island to help look after her ailing mother, Ann Gray, 84, who was hospitalized after a serious fall. She is staying in her parents’ home with her father, James Gray, 87.
Ahearn said she’s accustomed to the threat of hurricanes and knows how to prepare for them — getting candles, bags of ice, water and the like.
“I’m very pleased that Pam is here, with her experience in dealing with hurricane conditions,” James Gray said.
Ahearn said she was visiting her mother in Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola late last week when she saw the forecast that showed a hurricane potentially drawing a bead on Long Island and the metropolitan area.
“I was looking at the TV and saw the all-too-familiar cone, looking like it was going to make a curve here,” she said. “I think I let out an expletive, and said ‘I can’t believe that a hurricane is coming here.’ ”
Sandy has upended her plans, and she doesn’t know when she’ll be able to return to Louisiana.
Her parents’ home was not damaged, though they have no electricity. Parts of Garden City were hard-hit, with many large trees falling on homes and cars and blocking streets. A gas explosion destroyed one home.
“We’ll do OK if nothing worse happens,” Ahearn said.
-- Olivia Winslow
UPDATED 6:11 P.M.
Major flooding on Main Street in Sag Harbor
UPDATED 6:10 P.M.
Residents jumpstart Lloyd Harbor cleanup
With police and rescue services strained to the limits, many residents of Lloyd Harbor Village revved up their chainsaws Tuesday and cleared their own roads and driveways.
Insurance executive Joe Gundermann, 57, stood amid the remains of a fallen oak on Forrest Drive, lopping off branches, as a half-dozen friends and neighbors carried away debris. The heavily wooded road is on the Lloyd Neck Peninsula, where hundreds of homes were cut off by blocked roads.
"It was the best way out," said Gundermann, who lives in an adjacent community.
He explained that he was anxious to get to his family's insurance agency in Huntington so he could return calls from clients worried about storm damage to their homes and cars.
Another Lloyd Neck resident, Marion Smith, 63, was also looking for a way off the peninsula. Smith and her husband spent Monday night and Tuesday morning in their waterfront home on Long Island Sound, as winds and waves pounded their bulkhead and carried away 20 feet of bluff from a neighbor's mansion.
"The house was rocking, the bed was vibrating -- it was wild!" Smith said.
Tom Kehoe, 58, also knows the storm's wrath well.
On Monday night, four oak trees in his yard fell in rapid succession like dominoes, with one crashing through the roof of his contemporary-style house.
"I was sitting in the master suite, and I heard a rumble," said Kehoe, a yearbook publisher, as he surveyed the debris Tuesday on his roof and yard. Kehoe lives in the Seacrest community on the northern tip of Lloyd Neck.
"Funny thing," said his son, Devin Kehoe, 23, "we were scheduled to get the roof repaired."
-- John Hildebrand
UPDATED 6:08 P.M.
National Guard evacuates family from Long Beach
Two-year-old Timothy Ofarrel, oblivious to the storm's effect, played on the steps of the Rockville Centre King Kullen while his family anxiously waited for their ride.
Earlier Tuesday the National Guard evacuated the family from their Long Beach homes via NICE buses. The boy, his parents, his aunt, her fiancee and dog, Maddie Girl, all waited with their luggage on Sunrise Highway for a ride to a relative's home in Oceanside, where they would all be staying for the foreseeable future.
"The streets were completely flooded. It had to be 4 or 5 feet," said Mary Ofarrel, 24, the boy's aunt.
"It's [a] shock," her fiancee, Richard Butt, 22, said.
-- Alfonso Castillo
UPDATED 6:06 P.M.
Trees down in Melville neighborhood
UPDATED 5:55 P.M.
Boats float down Babylon Village street
Doug Curtin was outside on the steps of his house Monday night listening to the transformers pop off when the boats starting floating down Fire Island Avenue in Babylon Village: four of them at least, including a 30-footer that came to rest on his front lawn.
“This boat comes flying down,” he said Tuesday, still in wonder. “First it goes into the parking lot at Pier 44 restaurant, then here. It was like a ghost ship.”
They probably came from DeGarmo’s Boat Yard, said Curtin, 41, and excused himself to see to the hamburgers he was grilling in his backyard.
The boatyard is a few hundred yards down the avenue, on Babylon Cove, and dozens of wrecked boats, cruisers and sailboats could be seen from outside.
Ed Chaloupka, 39, a boat mechanic who lives in a house on the edge of the property, said the boats might well have come from there. “There’s a pile up here like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.
Together, the boats based there had been once worth millions, he said; now they were just about worthless. “These things are done," he said. "You can’t save nothing.”
Some of the boats had broken their moorings and floated up into the yard, and some had already been there, resting on blocks. Now they all lay jumbled at weird angles. A foot of water was on the ground, purpled by diesel and stinking.
Chaloupka hadn’t seen Miss Kitty, the cat who used to live in a shed destroyed by the storm. He had seen Ted DeGarmo, the boat yard’s owner and a man he called his friend, when he came to survey the damage.
“This was his whole life,” he said. “Everything was here, and now it’s gone.”
-- Nicholas Spangler
UPDATED 5:39 P.M.
LIRR crews remove boats, jet ski from tracks
Long Island Rail Road crews are used to removing tree limbs and other debris from tracks during a storm. But this was a first.
Near Long Beach station, workers tried to remove seven boats that had washed up on the tracks, a jet ski and three large shipping containers.
"I can't believe how bad it got," one LIRR worker said.
The workers used cranes and their own hands to remove obstructions. And Steve Howell wishes they would have been more careful.
Howell owns Personal Watercraft and Marine Services, a storage facility next to the tracks from which some of the boats originated. He said he saw 30 workers push one of his customer's boats off the tracks, dumping it on its roof.
"They grabbed it and rolled it off the tracks," Howell said. "They broke every window. They destroyed it ... There’s gasoline spilling everywhere."
About a mile north, motorists pulled over at Island Park Station to snap pictures of an unusual sight in the station parking lot: A boat and its wooden dock pressed up against the station platform.
"It's devastating," said Susan Druckman, 54, of Island Park, who commutes by train to her currency exchange job in Manhattan. "It's absolutely devastating."
-- Alfonso Castillo
UPDATED 5:13 P.M.
Man finds ‘Misery’ when boat settles on lawn
The boat sitting on Tom Roberts' front yard does not belong to him. But it does capture his mood.
"It's the perfect name," Roberts said. "'Misery.'"
The boat washed ashore next to Roberts' home, located next to Reynolds Channel in the Island Park Club.
Roberts and his wife, Rosemary, rode out the storm in their home despite its location in an evacuation zone.
"I didn't think it was going to be that bad," he said.
Even while trying to clean up the mess at his home, which saw water rise up to window level on its first floor, Roberts also worried about his former hometown, Valley Stream.
Roberts lived in the village most of his life and still works as its director of recreation. He was most worried about the recreation department office in Hendrickson Park, which was just reopened weeks ago after being destroyed in a flood last year.
"That place was just finished," Roberts said. "Not all the door handles are even on it."
As for the strange boat on his lawn, one neighbor asked what he planned to do about it.
"Wait for the next hurricane," he told him.
UPDATED 5:11 P.M.
Sandy to cost Hempstead Town ‘much more’ than Irene
Hempstead Town's total damage is believed to cost "much more" than the $4 million in damage suffered during last year's Irene, town officials said.
The town is asking residents to stay home for Halloween, town spokesman Mike Deery said.
"No youngsters should go out unattended if they are determined to go out," Deery said. "There are hazards out there."
The barrier island communities of Atlantic Beach, Atlantic Beach Estates, Point Lookout and Lido Beach suffered the worst damage in Hempstead, Deery said. The bayside communities all along the South Shore were also hit severely, he said.
Boats have come ashore in roadways in communities such as Wantagh and Freeport, Deery said. Cars and debris have been washed into Atlantic Beach neighborhoods by the tide, he added.
The town's east and west marinas in Lido Beach suffered "significant damage," Deery said. The lifeguard base and bathrooms at the Point Lookout town park were also undermined at the fountain, he said.
Recycling and garbage pickup will resume on Wednesday, Deery said. Town Hall will also be open.
UPDATED 5:08 P.M.
Boardwalk in Long Beach destroyed
UPDATED 5:04 P.M.
Caretaker struggles to get elderly man home
Elena Catania, 55, sat in a red Honda CR-V on Library Avenue in Westhampton Beach Tuesday morning.
Before her was a stretch of floodwater that went nearly four feet deep. Catania, a caregiver, wanted to take the elderly man she was caring for — 92-year-old Arnold Coa — back to his home, but a half-block of flood water impeded her task.
“I don’t care about electricity or floodwater ... the complex is two levels high, if I can just get a truck to take us.”
Catania had taken Coa to a Red Cross Shelter at Hamptons Bay High School Monday, but said the beds were uncomfortable and Coa wanted to leave.
“He keeps saying to me, ‘Take me to the house, Elena,’ and I say ‘How? I can’t fly. If I can I would.’”
After waiting in the car with Coa dozing in the passenger seat, Catania decided to take the risk and drive through the floodwaters. And made it.
But she had to move Coa into his second flood apartment by herself.
"He almost fell down on me," she said. "He got up the steps little by little," as she supported him from behind, Catania said.
After the two finally reached the apartment, Catania made Coa a sandwich, gave him his medicine and put him to bed before 6 p.m. She was sleeping on his couch for the night.
Before Coa fell asleep, "He said, 'What an adventure we had,'" Catania said.
UPDATED 5:01 P.M.
Man in bowling pin suit not spared from work
It was business as usual for some on the East End, Including Diego Rio, who lost power in his home in Ridge, but reported to work as a giant bowling pin at the All Star Lanes bowling alley and restaurant in Riverhead.
"This thing's hot as hell," he said.
UPDATED 5 P.M.
Corey Beach at Blue Point under water
UPDATED 4:55 P.M.
Southold Town bands together for Sandy cleanup
In the Town of Southold, residents are coming together for the cleanup effort.
"As a small community, friends and neighbors are really helping each other out right now," said Southold Town Police Capt. Frank Kruszeski.
The area's four shelters were closed Tuesday after about 150 residents left on their own, Kruszeski said.
Power was being restored at a much faster rate than it was last year after Tropical Storm Irene. Half the town was still without power as of 3 p.m. The town's highway supervisor, Peter W. Harris, said all roads should be passable by Tuesday evening, Kruszeski said.
Major flooding along the Peconic Bay receded and officials opened the causeway to Orient Point on Tuesday afternoon.
Town firefighters had to rescue about a half-dozen cars stranded in water, even after repeated warnings not to drive into puddles, Kruszeski said.
A more extensive survey of the coastline is expected tomorrow. There's no estimate on cost of damages yet, he said.
Still, flooding seems to be hampering the cleanup effort.
"We just could not get to some areas because we had to wait for the water to recede," Kruszeski said.
While he was out assessing damage, Kruszeski said he witnessed a few instances where residents were chopping up trees themselves and clearing the roadway.
"We don't recommend this, because it could be dangerous, but it is just an example of how people take things into their own hands," he said.
-- Candice Ferrette
UPDATED 4:53 P.M.
Riverhead restaurants owners pump out basements
In downtown Riverhead, the water has receded back to the river and community members were already working to clean up its effect.
Restaurant owners on Main Street were pumping out their basements Tuesday afternoon with their cellar doors wide open, the water level -- reaching past the bottom steps in some cases -- was visible from the sidewalk.
At the River and Roots Community Garden, at Main Street and Griffing Avenue, Len Van Vliet, 58, of Riverhead, was kneeling in the damp dirt repairing some of the garden beds.
Van Vliet said water from the river overflowed Monday, filling the municipal parking lot, pouring into business basements and closing Peconic Avenue.
In the garden, the water reached almost to its front gate and was about 2 feet deep, which he can tell from the water line left on the door of the garden shed.
"I was here for Gloria in '85," he said. "But I've never seen this."
But the Riverhead business district fared much better than other places, he said, and it would just take a little work to get things back to normal.
He was the only community garden member working there Tuesday afternoon, but he said earlier there were more.
A 20-foot-tall pine tree that stood on one side of the garden had crashed down on it, which would be the most difficult task to cleaning it up, but Van Vliet wasn't worried.
"Probably this weekend there will be a lot of us out here cleaning up," he said. "There are a few of us that have chainsaws, we'll cut this up and hopefully the town will take it."
And though the last of the fall's bounty was strewn sadly around the garden beds, wet and limp, Van Vliet said it wouldn't deter the gardeners.
"Most of us plant winter vegetables," he said. "We'll be here all winter."
UPDATED 4:51 P.M.
Choppers ready to leave Fire Island
UPDATED 3:55 P.M.
Mangano: Many roads still closed in Nassau
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Tuesday that roads throughout Nassau remain closed due to tidal flooding, debris, downed power lines, utility poles and trees caused by Sandy. In addition, there are numerous traffic signal outages. Mangano urges drivers to use extreme caution while traveling.
The following Nassau County roads remain closed until further notice:
* Merrick Road at the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway
* Merrick Road at Seaford Avenue in Seaford
* Jerusalem Avenue at Cool Lane in Levittown
* Merrick Road, east of the Meadowbrook Parkway in Merrick
* New Hyde Park Road, south of Stewart Avenue in Garden City/New Hyde Park
* Long Beach Road, near the Southern State Parkway in Baldwin/South Hempstead
* North Village Avenue at Peninsula Boulevard (Mercy Hospital) in Rockville Centre
* Merrick Avenue at Loynes Avenue in Merrick
* Merrick Avenue at Old Mill in Merrick
* Merrick Avenue at Glenn Curtiss Boulevard in East Meadow
* Washington Avenue at 11th Street in Garden City
* One lane is closed at Loring Road in Levittown
* Round Swamp Road
* Quaker Meeting House Road at Central Avenue in Farmingdale
* Cantiague Rock Road at Saratoga Drive in Hicksville
* Carman Avenue, north of Salisbury Park Drive in Westbury
* Muttontown-Eastwoods Road at Bentley Road in Plainview
* Round Swamp Road, south of Kingswood Drive in Old Bethpage
* Cove Road, west of Cove Neck Road in Oyster Bay Cove
* Post Avenue, south of Old Country Road in Westbury
* Brush Hollow Road, south of Route 25 in Westbury
* Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor
* Berry Hill Road at Sherwood in Oyster Bay Cove
* Glen Cove Road at the following intersections: north of I.U. Willets Road, north of the Long Island Expressway, and south of Lakeview Court
The following streets are open but are experiencing downed power lines and/or trees:
* Stewart Avenue, west of Newbridge Road in Hicksville
* Stewart Avenue at Kathleen Place in Westbury
Residents with non-life-threatening emergencies should dial 888-684-4274 for assistance with downed trees and roadside issues. For more information on storm preparation, visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/hurricane or follow Ed Mangano on Facebook and Twitter.
--Emily C. Dooley
UPDATED 3:40 P.M.
Town-by-town Sandy story guide
Want to know how your town fared in the wake of Sandy? Check out our town-by-town story guide, including photos from each town. If you don’t see your town yet, check back soon. http://www.newsday.com/hurricane-sandy-coverage-by-town-1.4169793
UPDATED 3:348 P.M.
Massive flooding in Bay Shore
UPDATED 3:34 P.M.
Beach erosion in Fort Salonga, Kings Park, Long Beach
Officials in Smithtown were out early Tuesday morning to assess the town's damages.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said he understood "80 percent of Smithtown" was out of electricity.
"The path of the storm came from villages Head of the Harbor and Nissequogue to St. James, down to Nesconset," Vecchio said. "Nesconset has been especially hard hit."
Damages from the storm included "beach erosion in Fort Salonga, Kings Park and Long Beach," he said. "The staircases that lead to those beaches are gone."
Vecchio said there was also some damage to the town dock at the Long Beach marina and the garage bay doors at the recycling center in Kings Park we're blown off.
"Also, the low-lying areas on Landing Avenue, we've got flooding issues," Vecchio said.
John Valentine, the town's director of public safety, said the worst-hit areas also included "low-lying areas in the Nissequogue River corridor ... and St. James."
"We had a tremendous amount of damage in those areas, then it skipped around to pocket areas of Nesconset and Kings Park and Smithtown," he said.
Several residential areas in Smithtown sustained "dropped tree-related issues with their homes," said Valentine, adding that as of about 1 p.m. there was "no data that supports any injuries directly related to the storm."
Most of the flooding in the town took place in the Nissequogue River corridor, "all the way up to Landing Avenue in Smithtown," Valentine said. By the afternoon, Landing Avenue was closed again "because of those astronomical tides."
While there wasn't much structural damage to town property, "we were very lucky," Valentine said. Town of Smithtown officials did have to contend with disruptions in computer and electronic monitoring systems, he said.
A few private, commercial buildings in the Happaugue industrial park had roof damage, Valentine said.
All told, neither Vecchio, nor Valentine, assigned an estimated cost to the damages just yet.
"It's always being calculated as we go along," Valentine said. "Right now, we're in recovery mode ... we're not really at that point to be analytical now. We're trying to get our roads open and keep our public safe."
To that end, most of the work revolved around clearing tree debris and downed trees -- some entangled with power lines, he said.
"Before we work, we have to have LIPA shut the power down that becomes a major problem with a storm of this size," said Valentine, adding that half a dozen areas with downed trees tangled in wires were addressed by 4 a.m. this morning.
At 7 a.m., LIPA crews teamed up with tree, highway and public safety crews to clear arterial roads that were adversely impacted by Sandy. They were still working into the afternoon, he said.
First responders have been working around the clock too, Valentine said.
“The fire service has not slept through this storm," said Valentine of the Town of Smithtown's seven fire departments. "There were thousands of calls as a result of this storm to fire and police entities."
The next task is opening main thoroughfares around 6 p.m., said Robert Murphy, deputy superintendent of highways for the Town of Smithtown.
"We're looking to get those open by the end of the day," he said. "There has to be thousands of trees that are down."
UPDATED 3:38 P.M.
Flooded field in West Islip
UPDATED 3 P.M.
Monopoly game halted when tree hits house
While waiting for Hurricane Sandy to pass on Monday night, Larry Batista and his family were playing a game of Monopoly when they suddenly heard a loud thud.
At 7:30 p.m., a 50-foot oak tree punctured the roof of their Lake Ronkonkoma home. Parts of its tree limbs broke off and landed in the master bedroom.
"The tree was taking a beating and we heard a loud rumble and the whole house shook," said Batista, 59, who inspected the damage Tuesday morning and used a chainsaw to trim some of the branches. "Last night, I woke up my wife twice and I'm glad I did that last time."
On Tuesday morning, his friends and neighbors helped Batista and his 18-year-old son Daniel cover the hole on the roof with a pool tarp to protect the inside.
His wife Hilary was thankful that she wasn't asleep when one of the branches broke off and landed on her side of the bed.
"My husband asked me what I needed from the room and I told him, 'You, me and our son, so we're good,'" said Batista, 51, whose family moved to the home 24 years ago. "I'm so glad no one was hurt. I did go to church on Sunday, so God was on my side."
Hilary Batista said she and her neighbors bet that the willow tree she planted when they moved into the house would be the one to fall. Instead, a few of its branches were sliced off by the wind and the large oak was the one to pierce their roof.
"We'll, now we have a skylight," she said, chuckling. "You just have to make light of it. That's all you can do."
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 2:58 P.M.
Bethenny Frankel takes photos of military choppers over the Hamptons
UPDATED 2:40 P.M.
Tree takes out four cars of Lake Ronkonkoma family
With no electricity on Midland Boulevard in Lake Ronkonkoma, Connie Friscia and her family celebrated the extra quality time they had together Monday afternoon while waiting for Sandy to pass.
That would come to a screeching halt when they heard a loud crash outside.
At 3:30 p.m., the branches of a 45-foot oak tree pierced or dented the windows and frames of four cars in the family's driveway. The branches also damaged their wooden front porch.
Connie Friscia heard the noise and screamed while looking out a window at the cars being crushed underneath fallen tree branches.
The windshield and back windows of a 2001 Jeep Wrangler were shattered, along with its frame. The other cars had windows caved in and frames bent.
"You know what? Thank God no one was hurt," said Friscia, 51. "These cars are replaceable, but our family is not."
Her daughter Christina was thankful that her fiancé Jason Sileo, 29, came home from work early that day because he could've been in one of the cars. He usually arrives home at the time the tree fell.
"I don't know what I would have done," said Friscia, 28. "I'm so glad everyone is OK."
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 2:17 P.M.
Yard full of belongings in Freeport
UPDATED 2:12 P.M.
Freeport, Seaford among hardest hit coastal areas
About 1,000 trees are down in Hempstead Town, where numerous homes and cars have been damaged or destroyed by the storm, spokesman Mike Deery said.
The town is still assessing the damage, but coastal areas such as Seaford and Freeport seem to have been hit hardest, Deery said.
"There's quite a bit of devastation out there," Deery said.
Deery added that coastal flooding and erosion was "significant," but the town was still not quantifying it.
The storm is clearly much more costly than Irene, he said.
"The impact of it, when you're walking through neighborhoods, is overwhelming," Deery said.
Hempstead residents are asked not to bring debris, yard waste and tree limbs to the Merrick sanitation facility, town officials said.
Town residents are asked to bundle debris, yard waste and tree limbs and place on their curbside for pick up, officials said.
UPDATED 2:13 P.M.
Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead blocked off
UPDATED 2:10 P.M.
Babylon supervisor: Volunteers fought fire in chest-high water
Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer was wolfing down supper around 6 p.m. Monday night at the Olympic Diner when "everything just exploded."
From the command center at Town Hall he learned that firefighters were battling several structure fires across the town. Calls for rescue were approaching 100, and floodwaters were rising -- fast.
Soon after, in the scene of a house fire at South 6th Street in Lindenhurst, he watched firefighters do their work with water up to their knees; the water was chest-high just minutes later.
Firefighters rescuing residents from a West Marine Avenue home found them trapped on the second floor, just above 8 feet of water.
Five town payloaders were pressed into service, some pushing water at the fires and some carrying residents to safety in buckets lifted above the water.
Officials now say the area on the South Shore from Massapequa to Babylon Village was among those hardest hit on Long Island, after the Mastic Beach peninsula.
Schaffer warned it could be a month or longer before life here returns to normal.
Town officials were waiting for LIPA assistance to clear potentially electrified lines from main roads at 56 locations, Schaffer said in an interview Tuesday. There were 13 downed line locations in Lindenhurst and 12 in Amityville, he said.
Montauk Highway was impassable at 15 locations, he said. National Guard and county police have been stationed there to keep people out of neighborhoods south of the highway until the water falls.
It could get worse.
"The big question is what we’re going to find when we get further down into Lindenhurst and the areas on the bay. We don't know what we're going to find," Schaffer said.
The barrier beach communities also appear to have been hit hard. Power is out there and cell service intermittent, said Babylon Chief of Staff Ron Kluesner, a Gilgo resident. The main road there, Ocean Parkway, was blocked by debris, he said, and significant beach erosion seems likely.
"The dunes are gone at Gilgo," he said. "The ocean was right up to the parkway at high tide."
-- Nicholas Spangler
UPDATED 2:09 P.M.
More damage in Freeport
UPDATED 1:35 P.M.
Glen Cove mayor: City ‘fared better than others’
Much of Glen Cove was without power Tuesday, and North Shore LIJ-Glen Cove Hospital was running on a generator, but City Hall and some of the downtown area were up and running, officials said.
“Everyone survived the storm,” Mayor Ralph Suozzi said. “It’s now a matter of cleaning up and getting back to normalcy as quickly as possible.”
Despite a mandatory evacuation order for East and West islands and Shore Road, many residents had hunkered down in those low-lying areas. The causeway and bridge leading to the islands were at points flooded by storm surges or blocked by downed trees, but were passable Tuesday, Suozzi said.
Public works crews were out Tuesday clearing debris from roads. Garbage pickup was canceled Monday and Tuesday, but would likely resume Wednesday, Suozzi said.
The city’s water supply is “plentiful and safe,” Suozzi said, with a couple of wells running on generator power. The hospital, he said, was also using a generator.
Suozzi asked that residents drive and move about only if it was absolutely necessary.
Both his home and that of Deputy Mayor Maureen Basdavanos were among those without electricity Tuesday. They were working from City Hall, which Suozzi said had remained open through the bulk of the storm and would stay open Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We fared better than others,” he said of the city.
The Long Island Power Authority’s interactive outage map showed more than 16,000 Glen Cove customers didn’t have electricity Tuesday afternoon.
The senior center, closed Monday and Tuesday, could open Wednesday depending on the power, he said. The decision on whether to open schools Wednesday was up to the school district, he said.
-- Emily Ngo
UPDATED 1:38 P.M.
Mastic Beach flooding
UPDATED 1:35 P.M.
LIPA substation explosion in Lynbrook
A loud explosion at a LIPA substation in Lynbrook startled neighbors and sent several police and emergency response crews to the scene. Fire and smoke billowed out of a steel box inside the substation.
A Nassau County police officer said nothing fell on the facility.
"We're letting it burn out because you can't really do anything to it," he said.
-- Alfonso Castillo
UPDATED 1:30 P.M.
Main Street flooding recedes in Riverhead
Along the Peconic River waterfront in Riverhead, floodwaters that had overflowed more than 100 yards to Main Street Monday afternoon had largely receded by Tuesday, though several typically troublesome spots of road along the river remained partly flooded.
Peconic River itself is flowing to the top of its banks. Temporary dock structures remain scattered around the waterfront.
-- Mark Harrington
UPDATED 1:26 P.M.
Sag Harbor municipal parking lot submerged
UPDATED 1 P.M.
National Guard sending choppers to Long Island
The National Guard is deploying helicopters to Long Island -- both for rescue missions and so public officials can get an aerial view of the damage, said Eric Durr, spokesman for the state's Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
That’s the agency that essentially deploys the National Guard in New York State.
The helicopter deployment is in addition to the 275 National Guard vehicles already on Long Island.
They've been driving around with police officers and other emergency responders dealing with storm damage.
-- Matthew Chayes
UPDATED 12:52 P.M.
Homes destroyed in Fire Island
Fallen trees have caused the most significant damage in the Town of Islip, Councilman Anthony Senft said.
Of the 210 calls from constituents the town has received at their Emergency Operations Center since Monday morning, 95 percent have been calls to report fallen trees and impassable roads as a result.
Around 62,000 Islip Town households are without power, of around 111,000 total LIPA customers in the town.
But there's been no loss of life and no major structural damage -- except in Fire Island, where at least four houses in Atlantique have been destroyed, and at least one in Ocean Beach has washed away completely.
Senft said it’s hard to say at this point how many trees have fallen, and that they won’t be able to assess the cost of damages for some time.
But the areas other than Fire Island that were hit hardest were Oakdale and southwest Islip, and flooding was eminent around the canals and neighborhoods south of Montauk Highway.
But flooding could have been worse, Senft said.
"We could have been in a much worse flooding position if we'd had significant amounts of rain, so that helped us," he said.
-- Candice Ruud
UPDATED 12:45 P.M.
Lynbrook business repairing generators
One business that benefitted from Sandy was TJS Power in Lynbrook, which specializes in small engine repairs.
The business repaired 16 generators Monday and by noon Tuesdayhad another 11 to take care.
TJS charges $80 an hour for repairs and is trying to turn around each job as fast as possible.
It even moved many of its lawn mowers on the sidewalk to make extra room.
"This is the first time I've seen anything this bad," said owner Tom Montuori, 59; who has been in business for 15 years.
- -Alfonso Castillo
UPDATED 12:44 P.M.
Tree takes down utility pole in Westwood area
UPDATED 12:25 P.M.
Huntington supervisor: Could take three days to clear streets
Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said that damage was townwide and substantial, with trees and electrical wires down. He added that it could take up to three days to clear the streets of trees and other debris.
Petrone said the No. 1 priority is to get the debris cleared from the roads and side of the roads, and that once all debris is moved that's when the town will begin to take the debris away.
Employees from the Highway and General Services departments are doing the clearing work, and employees of the Public Safety department are assisting with traffic direction.
Asharoken Avenue, which had been closed, was partially reopened Tuesday. The road was breached again overnight during high tide, causing a large amount of damage to Asharoken Beach.
The Halloween parade scheduled for Wednesday in Huntington Village has been canceled.
-- Deborah Morris
UPDATED 12:23 P.M.
Most roads passable in Suffolk
Suffolk County Department of Public Works Commissioner Gil Anderson told Newsday that most of the county’s roads are open and passable.
“We have some lane closures but all roads are in good shape. Roads closed at this time [are] due to downed wires and trees,” Anderson said in an email.
He added that LIPA must first disengage the lines before the trees can be removed.
Below are the roadways that remain closed:
CR86 (Broadway) + CR11 (Pulaski Rd. ), Huntington
CR4 (Commack Road) + Little Plains Rd., Huntington
CR92 (Oakwood Road) + CR11 (Pulaski Rd.) Huntington
CR67 (Motor Parkway) + Breeze Avenue, Islip
CR43 (Northville Turnpike) + Osbourne Avenue, Riverhead
CR 38 (North Sea Road) and Parrish Road, Southampton
-- Sarah Crichton
UPDATED 12:22 P.M.
Tree down in Huntington Station
UPDATED 11:50 A.M.
Official: More than 100 rescues in Lindenhurst
Village officials said firefighters made more than 100 rescues last night during what village manager Shawn Cullinane called "the worst storm we've ever seen."
Four homes burned Monday and overnight.
Many of the 800 to 1,000 homes south of Montauk Highway are flooded, but Cullinane said damage was difficult to assess because the streets are impassable.
Village employees are focused on clearing the roads, he said.
"We need cooperation and patience," Cullinane said.
The 7-Eleven at West Gates Avenue and Wellwood Avenue in the village was one of the few places to have power within miles, and the line of customers ran out the door and into the parking lot.
"Since 5, 6 o'clock it's been like this," said store employee Nilash Ghandi, 38. "Coffee, cigarettes, candy, chips -- everything."
Coffee looked to be the biggest seller, though, with close to 20 people waiting in line.
"I've waited for a lot of things in my life, so I can be patient," said Jerry Brennan, 45, a warehouse worker. His house had been without power since 10 p.m. Monday, he said, so he couldn't make his own.
-- Nicholas Spangler
UPDATED 11:33 A.M.
Homes destroyed on Fire Island
UPDATED 11:15 A.M.
OSHA warns of potential hazards during cleanup
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a news release Tuesday morning urging workers and members of the public involved in Sandy cleanup activities to be aware of potential hazards.
OSHA maintains a comprehensive website — http://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/index.html — on keeping disaster site workers safe during hurricane and storm cleanup and recovery operations. It contains fact sheets, concise "quick cards," frequently asked questions, safety and health guides, and additional information in English and Spanish. Information on protecting oneself against heat stress while working outdoors is available in English at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html and in Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/enespanol.html.
Additionally, a checklist of activities to be undertaken before, during and after a hurricane is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html.
"Recovery work should not put you in the recovery room," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator for New York. "Storm recovery work involves a wide range of safety and health hazards, which can be minimized by knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment."
-- Newsday staff
UPDATED 11:05 A.M.
Wading River woman laments living on the water
Mary DiGaetano, 71, of Breezy Point Road in Wading River, stood on the ledge overlooking Wading River Beach on Tuesday morning and marveled at all the debris.
Smooth pieces of driftwood, large rough tree trunks, garbage, lost items like shoes, and even a deer carcass formed a huge pile separating the parking lot from the rest of the beach.
"I always wanted a house on the water," DiGaetano said. "But not now."
The inland resident has lived alone for 18 years in the house her husband built just before he died. Though she made it through Sandy without damage, she said the storm has just about solidified her decision to move into a retirement home.
"After 18 years, I sat down and was reading my insurance policy before this," she said. "I couldn't believe it, the deductible, it's so high! How could I afford that as a retired person living alone? I worried about the house."
She also worried about her well-being. DiGaetano has asthma and spent part of Sunday in an emergency room before doctors sent her home with a nebulizer, an electric-powered machine used to administer medication to the lungs in the form of a mist.
But she lost power Monday afternoon and couldn't use it. She figured she could wait it out, but when her power wasn't restored Tuesday morning, she packed up the small machine and headed to the Wading River firehouse, where they plugged her in and gave her coffee.
"They are wonderful over there," she said. "I knew they would help."
After returning home she started to rake the leaves in her front yard.
"It's best to get this cleaned up and start thinking about moving on," she said, mentioning she would likely end up in one of the nearby retirement communities like Leisure Village, in Ridge. "I don't like the feel of that, and you know, my husband built this house, but I think that's the thing to do."
-- Erin Geismar
UPDATED 11:33 A.M.
Boat ends up in neighbor’s yard
UPDATED 11:16 A.M.
Smithtown officials survey damage
Officials in Smithtown were out early Tuesday morning to assess the town's damages.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said that he understood "80 percent of Smithtown” did not have electricity.
So far, the only report of major structural damage was at a recycling center in Kings Park. Its garage bay doors were blown off, Vecchio said.
Crews were out collecting tree debris and clearing streets this morning, Vecchio said, adding, "Those get priority attention for emergency use."
There's no estimated cost figure for the cleanup efforts at this time, he said.
Robert Murphy, deputy superintendent of highways for the Town of Smithtown, said, "There has to be thousands of trees that are down."
Three Long Island Power Authority crews have been assigned to work with the town, Murphy said.
"Right now we're working with LIPA and ensuring that workers and residents are safe because wires intermingled with trees," he said.
The majority of main thoroughfares like Lake Avenue are closed, but some, such as Southern Boulevard, are open, Murphy said.
"We're looking to get those open by the end of the day," he said of opening the main thoroughfares around 6 p.m.
Major flooding on roads has receded, Murphy said. Most of the flooding occurred between high tide at midnight and low tide at 7 a.m.
-- Lauren R. Harrison
UPDATED 11:10 A.M.
Dog rescue in Patchogue
UPDATED 10:59 A.M.
Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant undamaged
Suffolk Department of Public Works Commissioner Gil Anderson visited the Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant in West Babylon first thing Tuesday morning.
“The plant had water coming up to it but is undamaged and remained operating throughout the night,” Anderson told Newsday a short time later.
“There was significant erosion damage outside at high tide but the facility itself is high enough so that it wasn’t impacted by the high tide,” he said.
UPDATED 10:51 A.M.
Some of worst damage in Lindenhurst
Babylon public works used bucket trucks to rescue residents and payloaders to push water into house fires Monday night, officials said Tuesday morning.
Town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said first responders were rescuing residents stranded by floodwaters until 4 in the morning, and placed the blame on residents who refused to evacuate.
"This really taxes our first responders," he said. "Last night put us in a pretty severe situation, getting people out."
Meanwhile firefighters had at least 10 fires to deal with.
Power is out in 85 percent of the town, Ruggeri said, with parts of Montauk Highway blocked off and many streets south of the highway under several feet of water.
A number of utility poles are down along Route 110 and many trees have fallen onto lines and streets throughout the town.
Some of the worst damage appears to be in the Village of Lindenhurst, where scores of streets near the bay are deeply flooded.
"This is almost as bad as it could have been," Ruggeri said. "We're seeing damage that we've never seen before .?.?. This is unprecedented in our lifetimes."
UPDATED 10:48 P.M.
Sites from Wading River
UPDATED 10:25 A.M.
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel overcome with 18 feet of water
George Kern, director of bridges and tunnels for the New York City Department of Transportation, said Tuesday morning that the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, has been overcome with 18 feet of water brought by Sandy.
The department is beginning to assess damage to try to determine when the tunnel can reopen. That process, he estimated, could take until Monday.
Water from the East River came in as far as two blocks from the bulkhead.
“The bows of the ships were on the walkway, that’s how high the water was,” he said about ships docked at the South Street Seaport, just a little north of the tunnel.
That means there is 18 feet of water in the tunnel, which is about a mile long, flooding it into to Brooklyn.
He did not want to speculate about when the tunnel might reopen. The last time he saw it this bad was after the 1991 storm, when it took two to three days to restore service through the tunnel. But, that storm brought only about 4 feet of water into the tunnel.
There are three pumps in the tunnel that could pump 200,000 gallons each, but “they were no match for the magnitude of the storm,” Kern said.
UPDATED 10 A.M.
House burned to ground in Garden City
UPDATED 9:50 A.M.
Damage is widespread
UPDATED 9:43 A.M.
Long Beach resident: ‘Never seen anything like this’
The City of Long Beach, awash in seawater Monday night, appeared to have survived the Tuesday morning high tide without further damage.
Wooden planking across the pedestrian entrances to the beach was washed away Monday, allowing water from the Atlantic Ocean to rush under the boardwalk and into city streets. The Tuesday morning tide reached the boardwalk, but went no further.
Up to six inches of sand-covered areas of parking lots and streets, and slabs of asphalt uprooted by the seawater lay atop beds of the sand. The floor-to-ceiling glass in the lobbies of some beach-facing buildings had been smashed and cars in parking garages had been moved around by the swirling water.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve lived here all my life,” Robert Hitchens, 63, said as he surveyed the damage outside his condo building on West Broadway. He and his wife, Maria, 61, and two grown children who live elsewhere in the city, had decided not to evacuate.
“I’m thankful no one in my family was hurt,” Hitchens said. “We are all safe. But it’s going to take months to clean up this mess.”
-- James T. Madore
UPDATED 9:35 A.M.
UPDATED 9:30 A.M.
Cuomo: Tappan Zee Bridge reopens
UPDATED 9:13 A.M.
No electricity, but open for business
UPDATED 9 A.M.
Adelphi starts recovery process
UPDATED 8:56 A.M.
The crane is still hanging at 57th Street in Manhattan.
UPDATED 8:30 P.M.
Long Beach to evacuate remaining residents
Heavily flooded Long Beach is making plans to evacuate remaining residents on Tuesday, city spokesman Gordon Tepper said in a statement. However, right now it is not safe to leave, he said.
The city's water and sewer services are not working, Tepper said, meaning sinks and toilets aren't working.
Water from faucets would also not be safe to drink or cook with, anyway, Tepper said. Anyone in Long Beach with access to a faucet must boil water before using it, he said.
-- Patrick Whittle
UPDATED 8:08 A.M.
Crews clearing trees in Hempstead
Hempstead Town tree crews are "out starting to clear hundreds of trees blocking local roadways," spokesman Mike Deery said in a statement.
"Priority is being given to trees on primary roadways so emergency vehicles have access throughout the town," the statement said.
Residents are asked to use extreme caution as they deal with trees on private property, Deery said.
UPDATED 8:03 A.M.
Route 106 closed
Route 106, major access to Oyster Bay area, is closed at Muttontown Road as are surrounding side roads.
UPDATED 10:43 P.M.
All county roads in Nassau have been closed until further notice.
UPDATED 10:29 P.M.
Guardsmen called to Lindenhurst fires on flooded roads
More national guard troops have been called to Lindenhurst in the wake of working fires on flooded, inaccessible roads, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
No injuries have been reported, but “you’ve got multiple fires on top of major flooding,” Bellone said, describing rescuers' challenges.
UPDATED 9:45 P.M.
The Nassau Health Department has declared a no-drink order for water from the Long Beach and Mills Neck Estates water districts, officials said.
Additionally, County Executive Ed Mangano said there has been "significant” flooding at Long Beach Hospital, but patients were evacuated yesterday. He urged residents with nonemergencies to not clog up 911 line call county non emergency hotline at 888-684-4274.
UPDATED 9 P.M.
UPDATED 8:50 P.M.
All state parkways on Long Island closed due to Hurricane Sandy until further notice, according to state police.
UPDATED: 8:01 P.M.
AP: Sandy no longer a hurricane
"Just before it was expected to blow ashore in the evening, the National Hurricane Center announced that it considered Sandy no longer a hurricane but a wintry hybrid known as a post-tropical storm.
The decision was technical and based on the storm's shape and its mix of cold and warm temperatures — a distinction that meant more to meteorologists than the 50 million people still in peril. The storm's top sustained winds weakened only slightly, to 85 mph from 90." -- The Associated Press
UPDATED 7:35 P.M.
Suffolk cops: stay inside until conditions improve
The Suffolk County Police Department is urging residents to stay indoors until weather and road conditions improve.
“Driving is extremely dangerous due to flooding, electrical wires down, fallen trees and traffic lights out. Please be aware that there are numerous streets that are closed due to flooding, fallen trees and electrical wires that are blocking roadways. No one should be driving on the roads unless it is absolutely essential. For residents who live in mandatory evacuation zones and decided to not leave their home, please be aware that due to weather conditions and road closures, there may be delays from first responders. Below is a list of current road closures and areas with flooding: 1st Precinct - Various roads south of Montauk Highway are impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed. 2nd Precinct - Road closures due to numerous trees down along: Caledonia Road in Dix Hills, Wolf Hill Road in Dix Hills and Round Swamp Road in Melville. Flooding along the North Shore including: Huntington, Centerport and Northport. 5th Precinct - Roads south of South Country Road in Bellport are blocked due to flooding. Various roads south of Montauk Highway are also impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed. 7th Precinct - Trees and wires down caused the following closures: Montauk Highway at William Floyd Parkway in Shirley, Hallock Landing Road at 25A in Rocky Point, North County Road at Woodville Road in Shoreham, North Country Road at Norman in Road Shoreham and Randall Road at Cooper Street in Shoreham. Various roads south of Montauk Highway are impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed.”
For residents who live in mandatory evacuation zones and decided to not leave their home, please be aware that due to weather conditions and road closures, there may be delays from first responders.
Below is a list of current road closures and areas with flooding:
1st Precinct - Various roads south of Montauk Highway are impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed.
2nd Precinct - Road closures due to numerous trees down along: Caledonia Road in Dix Hills, Wolf Hill Road in Dix Hills and Round Swamp Road in Melville. Flooding along the North Shore including: Huntington, Centerport and Northport.
5th Precinct - Roads south of South Country Road in Bellport are blocked due to flooding. Various roads south of Montauk Highway are also impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed.
7th Precinct - Trees and wires down caused the following closures: Montauk Highway at William Floyd Parkway in Shirley, Hallock Landing Road at 25A in Rocky Point, North County Road at Woodville Road in Shoreham, North Country Road at Norman in Road Shoreham and Randall Road at Cooper Street in Shoreham. Various roads south of Montauk Highway are impassible due to flooding. When the waters rise due to the tide, we anticipate most roads south of Montauk Highway will be obstructed.”
UPDATED 6:47 P.M.
The Long Beach boardwalk wall has been breached in places, with water flowing in streets as ocean meets the bay.
City Manager Jack Schnirman says "it's too late to leave” and orders police to move spectators indoors.
-- James T. Madore
UPDATED 6:19 P.M.
Searingtown Road in Manhasset is closed in both directions from Northern Boulevard to the Long Island Expressway due to downed trees, Nassau police say.
UPDATED 5:09 P.M.
Fallen branch blocking Pinelawn Road in Melville
A fallen tree branch is blocking a section of Pinelawn Road in Melville just north of the Pinelawn Long Island Rail Road crossing. In our video, drivers can be seen riding around the blocked roadway and onto a grassy area. -- T.C. McCarthy
UPDATED 4:31 P.M.
Cuomo activates 1,000 additional National Guard troops
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that 1,000 additional National Guard troops have been activated to bolster the 1,000 called up earlier, and that the bulk of the additional call-up would be deployed to Nassau County, where the village of Bayville and the City of Long Beach had been hard hit. -- William Murphy
UPDATED 3:52 P.M.
Hempstead official: ‘Absolutely unsafe’ to go to town marinas
Hempstead Town Hall, and most town services, will be shuttered from this afternoon to Tuesday, said town spokesman Mike Deery.
The town has closed five senior housing complexes and evacuated the residents to a shelter at Levittown Memorial High School, Deery said. The complexes are in Valley Stream, Oceanside, Baldwin and Inwood, which has two of them, he said.
Boats are “getting tossed around” at town marinas because of residents who did not heed a town call to remove them, Deery said. However, it is too late now, he said.
It's "absolutely unsafe” to go to town marinas, Deery said.
Highway workers have reported 79 downed trees in Hempstead through 3 p.m., Deery said. Many large limbs - more than 100 - are also down, he said.
Heavy coastal flooding has occurred in Freeport, Island Park and Inwood, Deery said.
Hempstead was able to collect garbage today, but service will be suspended on Tuesday, Deery said. Garbage will likely be collected Wednesday, while recyclables will be suspended until the next scheduled date, he said. Residents should consult their next scheduled recycling date, Deery said.
Parks and beaches will remain closed on Tuesday, Deery said.
Senior enrichment programs and transportation to senior centers is canceled Tuesday, Deery said.
UPDATED 3:40 P.M.
Hurricane Sandy leaves tens of thousands without power
Tens of thousands of Long Islanders were already without power as Hurricane Sandy continued on course Monday afternoon with sustained winds of 90 mph that could still have a hurricane force of at least 75 mph when it reaches the metro area later in the day.
Read full story. http://bit.ly/Q2osPo
UPDATED 3:35 P.M.
Plenty of room left at Locust Valley shelter
About 90 people are staying at a Red Cross shelter at Locust Valley High School. And there's plenty more space, said Bruce Gronich, the shelter manager. He is encouraging people in the area to come by. The school has food, water and its own electric supply in case power goes out.
"People shouldn't mess around with this," Gronich said.
Denise Galante DePew, a Glen Cove resident, stayed at the shelter Sunday night and plans to ride out the storm at the high school.
"I feel safer here," she said. "I take things seriously."
Sue Petersen Lubow, of Locust Valley, and her daughter Sarah Lubow were also at the school Monday afternoon, but theirs was a quick visit. Sarah had to pick up her homework so she’d be ready for her big science and English tests later this week.
Sue said the family is stocked up on food, the bathtub is filled with water just in case, and they have wood for the fireplace.
"We are pretty well set," she said.
-- Robert Lewis
UPDATED 3:30 P.M.
Annual Roosevelt community meeting canceled
Hurricane Sandy has forced a cancellation of Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby's annual Roosevelt community meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Roosevelt Public Library, according to Goosby's office.
A new date has not been announced yet.
UPDATED 3:22 P.M.
Worries among Riverhead shelter's temporary residents vary
When the Red Cross Shelter at Riverhead High School opened Sunday afternoon, Joe Labosco, 85, of Calverton, was there before the organization even set up shop.
"There was nothing here at all. I got to pick where I put my cot," he said.
But Labosco wasn't alone for long. About 50 people spent the night in the shelter Sunday night, and by 1 p.m. Monday, there were 135 people in the shelter, Red Cross volunteers said. A majority of those filtering in as the winds of Hurricane Sandy intensified outside were families with young children and senior citizens.
Worries among the shelter's temporary residents varied.
Dottie and Gene Hasheider, of Riverhead, said they were concerned about the trees in their neighborhood blowing over onto electric lines and causing fires.
Calverton couple Milly and Sandy Sanjek came to the shelter instead of trekking west to their daughter's home because they were worried about road conditions after the storm.
"Going is not a problem," Milly said. "But coming back is."
Despite concerns, the atmosphere inside the shelter was cheerful. Children ran around the hallways, and the elderly sat around chatting and laughing.
The light mood was most evident in the early arriver Labosco.
"I'm having a ball, and all these chicks are around," he joked, gesturing to the group of new friends around him.
UPDATED 3:20 P.M.
Elderly man brings wheelchair-bound girlfriend to safety
William Gorden and his longtime girlfriend, Janice Mattis, 62, left their basement apartment to stay at Sachem East High School’s shelter for as long as necessary during Hurricane Sandy.
“We don’t want to get trapped in the basement,” said Gorden, 77, of Patchogue. “My girlfriend had a stroke in 2008 and is in a wheelchair because of it. We would have had trouble evacuating the apartment later on, so we came here last night.”
Gorden, like most people staying at the shelter, is anxious to go home, but is thankful to have a roof over his head, somewhere to rest and two meals a day, while waiting out the storm.
“I want to be back in my own home, but if we have a power outage there wouldn’t be much for us to do there anyhow,” he said. “My advice to others is to get out because once you get stuck somewhere there’s nothing you can do. You never know what can happen. You can only hope for the best.”
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 2:50 P.M.
Bohemia woman doesn’t hesitate to evacuate
On Sunday night, Dee Tehrani took shelter at Sachem East High School in Farmingville after she was told to evacuate her mobile home in Bohemia.
“It’s basically sitting on cinder blocks,” said Tehrani, 52, of Bohemia. “All you need is one strong wind to pick it up to cause some damage.”
After the Town of Islip recommended a number of locations to find shelter, Tehrani first stopped at Seneca Middle School in Holbrook earlier Sunday evening, but found that no shelter existed and no one was there. As she traveled to Farmingville, she felt her car sway back and forth on the Long Island Expressway.
Tehrani remembered the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
“We had no power for four days,” Tehrani said. “That time, I didn’t go anywhere, I felt safe. This time around, I don’t feel safe at all. With my luck, my home will blow away. I’m expecting the worse. I’m very anxious.”
She said she looks out the window in disbelief and worries about what she’ll be coming home to, but in the meantime, the American Red Cross volunteers have treated her with the utmost care.
“This is the first time I’ve been to a shelter and these people are just so nice,” said Tehrani, who suffers from asthma. “They go out of their way for us and they even look after me because I have breathing problems.”
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 2:24 P.M.
Hamptons resident: ‘I'm too old for hurricane parties’
Kevin Crean, 57, of Remsenberg, enjoyed a breakfast of chicken salad and coffee at the Hamptons Coffee Company in Westhampton Beach Monday morning as the early winds of Hurricane Sandy howled outside.
The cozy cafe was situated less than a mile north of the evacuation zone, yet customers filtered in and out without worry.
On Main Street -- where the evacuation zone began -- the streets were deserted and a majority of the stores had boarded up windows. A few cars and clean-up trucks filled with tree branches drove by.
After the first high tide Monday morning, the water had already hit the dunes on the beaches of Dune Road, said village clerk Becky Molinaro.
Crean had left his house in Remsenberg Sunday, when Suffolk County ordered a mandatory evacuation of his neighborhood, and was staying with a friend in Westhampton Beach, north of Montauk Highway.
"I'm well-prepared, I stocked the house with nonperishables and got rid of my garbage," Crean said, adding that he wasn't too worried about the impending storm.
As for his plans for tonight: "Sleep," Crean said with a chuckle. "I'm too old for hurricane parties."
UPDATED 2:06 P.M.
Shelter Island supervisor: ‘Everything is OK so far’
Shelter Island Supervisor James Dougherty sat in his small town hall Monday afternoon, answering the phone. There was not much else for him to do.
“We’re still here,” he said. “Everything is OK so far. We have LIPA out.”
Having a utility crew standing by on Shelter Island was particularly important, because
Shelter Island had actually become an island cut off from the rest of Long Island — the two ferries which link it suspended operations when the wind and waves made it unsafe to try and dock and get cars off.
There was some hope that ferry service might resume for a few hours in the afternoon, but no one expected that it would last throughout the night, when high tide would come and winds were expected to get worse.
Not many people were traveling on Shelter Island. Bridge Street, the main business street on the island, was closed because of flooding. The dozen or so houses on Ram Island were cut off because of flooding as well.
“We’ve had no power outages so far,” Dougherty said. “So far, we seem to be coping pretty well.”
-- MITCHELL FREEDMAN
UPDATED 2 P.M.
Nassau cops rescue woman from her Massapequa home
Nassau police using an Army Humvee rescued an 82-year-old woman from her house on Cedar Lane in Massapequa on Monday morning.
"These guys drove up on her lawn and I went in with a neighbor and helped her out," said Officer Vincent Bellissimo from the back of the Humvee, after he and the soldiers driving the vehicle came back to check on the house.
The entire neighborhood south of Sutton Place was impassable.
Bellissimo said the woman was fine after they dropped her off at a friend's house.
UPDATED 1:57 P.M.
Glen Cove mayor: ‘We're not going to drag people out’
In Glen Cove, city officials called for the evacuation of East and West Island and low-lying areas by 11 a.m. Monday..
Mayor Ralph Suozzi drove around the area surveying the damage as the water rose. The road in front of Glen Cove High School was blocked with a fallen tree. Branches littered the roads throughout the city.
City work crews and emergency personnel were scattered through the area, blocking off streets and checking on damage.
On East Island, the Long Island Sound was spilling the banks and starting to fill streets. On the east end of the island, orange construction barrels were barely visible with their heads just poking up above the water.
Suozzi said he believed a couple was now trapped in their home by that water. Many chose to stay and ride out the storm, he said.
"We're not going to drag people out," Suozzi said. "The problem is if you live here long enough and survive them, you think you can survive them all."
Suozzi stopped his Chevy Tahoe to watch the waves off Sound Beach when Eric Sobeck drove up in a pickup truck. Sobeck was staying put with his wife, Nancy, and mother-in-law.
"I've been here 54 years and never left," Nancy Sobeck said. "Everybody looks out for each other."
Eric Sobeck, who served in the Coast Guard, said he'd been through Irene, Gloria and other storms and felt prepared for Sandy.
"We might have kayak races," he told Suozzi. "What do you think?"
UPDATED 1:40 P.M.
Nassau cop on tree duty in North Hempstead
Officer Eddie Vilchez is listening for the crackling of the trees.
"That's when you know it's about to fall," the Nassau County cop said.
Stationed outside of Christopher Morley Park on Searingtown Road in Roslyn, Vilchez guards a downed tree, diverting traffic as he awaits crews from the Town of North Hempstead. The tree, with purple and green leaves, blocks half of a major roadway.
Vilchez, on patrol since 7 Monday morning, grows wary about the rest of the day. The winds are picking up speed.
"It's just getting started," he says, at 11 a.m.
The day, he suspects, will follow a routine.
"We're going to chop it up and move on to the next one," he said.
Throughout the day, he's on alert.
He spent the morning answering calls from shop owners in the Americana Manhasset shopping center. Strong winds activated store alarms.
And as Vilchez waited for the crews, he was monitoring calls for his next stop. Streets on Bayview Avenue were flooded.
"We'll be here all day," he said.
-- Scott Eidler
UPDATED 1:35 P.M.
Curfew ordered in Mastic Beach, says pol
According to a message by Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico on his Facebook page, Mastic Beach has ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew due to the expected effects of Hurricane Sandy.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 12:59 P.M.
Evacuees head to Sachem East High School
Wind gusts from Hurricane Sandy thrashed around signs along the steps leading up to Sachem East High School in Farmingville on Monday morning.
Dennis Patrikios, shelter manager and volunteer for the American Red Cross, has been preparing the makeshift shelter at the school since Sunday morning.
“There are 75 people here, but we are capable of taking in hundreds,” said Patrikios, 68, of Stony Brook. “The school is on higher ground and is a safe location that’s accessible to most people on Long Island. Not to mention, local businesses have been donating food since yesterday.”
Patrikios said the storm is serious and strongly recommends that people use the shelter. The American Red Cross provides trained nurses and mental health workers, as well as cots, blankets and toys for children.
“What surprises me the most is that some people don’t think anything’s going to happen,” he said. “During Hurricane Irene we had double the amount of people here at this shelter. The more people listen to the radio or the news, I’m hoping they’ll start telling themselves that they should come here.”
If people refuse to leave their homes after a mandatory evacuation, then that’s their prerogative, Patrikios said.
“If you want to stay, that’s your privilege, but if you’re given a mandatory evacuation notice then please get out of there,” he said. “You’re only causing more harm to those first responders who will be sent in to save you.”
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 12:48 P.M.
Travelers stranded at local airports
As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, there were roughly 60 to 100 people stranded at Kennedy Airport, 29 at Newark and 20 or less at LaGuardia, according to Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico.
-- Keith Herbert
UPDATED 12:47 P.M.
Firemen fight flood to put out Freeport home blaze
A house fire on Branch Avenue in southern Freeport has destroyed a single-family home, said a firefighter at the scene.
No one was in the home at the time, and no one was hurt, the firefighter said. The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.
Fire companies had to navigate heavily flooded streets to reach the house. Flooded streets in the area formed a moat around the neighborhood.
Calls to Freeport officials about the fire were not immediately returned.
-- Patrick Whittle
Onlookers forced to evacuate in Patchogue
Gawkers headed to Mascot Dock on Patchogue Bay to check out the waves ahead of Hurricane Sandy on Monday. The water lapped over the dock well before noon.
"I didn't grow up on Long Island, so this is all new to me," said Karen Dunham, who grew up upstate and now lives in Ronkonkoma.
David Fisk of North Patchogue snapped pics on his phone. "This is pretty crazy," he said, as he looked toward the rows of houses on nearby Smith Street and Maiden Lane. "I feel sorry for the people here. That's the thing about living on the water. It's either the best of the best or the worst of the worst."
Within moments, Patchogue public safety officers drove up and ordered the cluster of onlookers to evacuate.
-- Sophia Chang
UPDATED 12:35 P.M.
Only one pet at Brentwood emergency shelter
By 11 a.m. Monday, there was only one animal at the Brentwood Recreation Center emergency pet shelter -- an unhappy pug named Lucky who barked nonstop from his kennel.
But last year during Tropical Storm Irene, Suffolk SPCA Det. Paul Llobell said there were 40 pets of all stripes here -- dogs, cats, birds and reptiles.
He said so far, people didn't seem to be taking the impending storm surge of Hurricane Sandy seriously.
"I think later on when the storm picks up people are going to realize they're in trouble and there's actual danger, then they'll bring them in," Llobell said.
The shelter, co-run by the SPCA and the Town of Islip, provides a safe space for pets whose owners are seeking shelter, too, or have been mandatorily evacuated. Owners are asked to bring proof of the animal's vaccinations, food and a kennel for their pet, though the SPCA has a few dozens kennels on hand.
What they're lacking, Llobell said, is crates for large dogs. Anyone interested in donating a large crate is asked to call 631-382-7722 for more information or to drop it off at the rec center, located at 99 Third Ave.
-- Candice Ruud
UPDATED 12:29 P.M.
Port Jefferson storefronts boarded up
If not for the boarded windows on storefronts, the water that reached mid-Main Street and the rain gear donned by passersby, Port Jefferson Village might appear to be the same as it would on any other Monday morning.
Access to Main Street was blocked off by Suffolk County police officers and Port Jefferson Village officials, but parked cars still lined the streets. People still strolled along every sidewalk, and groups gathered at the docks in the harbor to gaze at the water and the ferry.
"We just wanted to see how things were going," said Dan Leverich, 47, out for a family stroll with his wife, Jeanette, and her sons, Sean and Corey Lyons.
The Port Jefferson Station family walked around the village bundled up and not minding the midmorning drizzle, while taking photos of the earliest effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Water from the Long Island Sound was just starting to breach the docks at the Port Jefferson Ferry, and already water filled the lowest parts of the village.
A member of the village's department of public works said they were anticipating that water could reach as far as the CVS about a mile up the road on Main Street.
Karen Carroll, 54, of Setauket, brought her daughter to a doctor’s appointment in the village and walked around in her red raincoat taking pictures while she waited.
"They said at the harbor that tonight it's going to be much worse," she said. "I'm taking pictures because it's historic."
UPDATED 12:23 P.M.
Traffic lights already out in Farmingville
The effects of Hurricane Sandy were already affecting traffic safety Monday morning in Farmingville. Drivers on Portion Road -- heading from Nicolls Road to past Holbrook Road -- were forced to negotiate inoperable traffic lights due to power outages.
-- Brittany Wait
UPDATED 12:07 P.M.
Grandparents go out canoeing, kayaking down Creek Road
Jane Morfis and her husband, Ray, took their two granddaughters out by canoe and kayak Monday morning to survey the flooding just outside their house in Bayville.
The water was still, allowing the group to paddle -- without wearing life jackets -- down Creek Road, adjacent to their home.
“We are just going to go down and look around,” Morfis said, standing on her front lawn. “If we get water, Bayville is done.”
Creek Road was the first street in Bayville to flood, leaving it impassible and turning it into an extension of Mill Neck Creek.
Meryl Lorenzo, who lives across the street from the Morfis in a lower elevation, watched as her husband and a neighbor piled sandbags around their basement stairs. As they worked, the water crept up her garden stairs from the creek.
The family's row boats and kayaks, usually tethered at the beach, were floating next to her property.
“Bayville is a nice place to live, except when you have a storm,” Lorenzo said.
UPDATED 11:56 A.M.
Speeds reduced on GWB, 3 SI crossings
Speeds have been reduced on the George Washington Bridge and three Staten Island crossings.
The speed limit on the GWB and the Outerbridge Crossing, the Goethals Bridge and the Bayonne Bridge are down to 35 mph.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the speeds were reduced because of high winds.
-- The Associated Press
UPDATED 11:25 A.M.
Bayville mayor checking out village’s status
In Bayville Monday morning, 10- to 12-foot waves were breaking on sea walls and spraying onto houses and yards. Waves were running up in the area between houses.
Mayor Douglas Watson drove around to check things out. “The prediction is for 6 to 11 feet above the forecast high tide, which is 11 feet because of the moon,” Watson said. “I hope they are wrong on their math. I don’t need historic flooding.”
He then drove up to the eastern end by Tobay’s Centre Island Beach North, where water was breaking on the metal seawall and spraying the road. He then drove to the village-owned West Harbor Beach Park, where the water was almost up to the level of the fixed pier. And Oyster Bay Harbor was coming up the launch ramp to flood the parking lot.
The mayor lives on Monroe Avenue, just two blocks in from the south, on property 12 feet above sea level. Tonight he will stay with relatives at Oak Point, toward the western end of the village, and up on the cliff.
He said he saw a lot of dead tree limbs and lamented, “Nobody cuts their trees,” adding that falling tree limbs can cause as much damage as water.
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said there had been no flooding on East and West Island as of about 9 a.m., but mandatory evacuations were in effect as of Monday morning.
-- Bill Bleyer
UPDATED 10:49 A.M.
Two NYC tunnels close at 2 p.m.
Two tunnels into Manhattan will be closed at 2 p.m. Monday.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a news conference that the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and Holland Tunnel will be closed. The Lincoln Tunnel is remaining open.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be closely monitoring wind and flood conditions.
Drivers are urged to reduce speed and pay close attention to updates on electronic road signs.
Other Port Authority crossings include the George Washington Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing.
-- The Associated Press
UPDATED 10:44 A.M.
Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter closed
Acting Supervisor Kathleen Walsh has announced that the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will be closed until further notice. Residents should call 631-451-TOWN for more information or visit the town website at www.brookhaven.org for news and weather updates during the storm.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 10:35 A.M.
LIers turn out to Gold Star Battalion Beach
Several people came out to see and document with cameras the beginning of Hurricane Sandy's fury at Gold Star Battalion Beach in Huntington.
Kristen Ruthkowski said she promised her sons that she would get a picture of Sandy rolling onto the shore but she didn't want to get too close to the storm actually hitting.
So during morning errands to move her car from her house in a heavily wooded area to a local school, she stopped at Gold Star Battalion Beach.
“It's amazing,” she said after snapping pictures of Huntington Harbor with its bobbing boats, rolling waters and whitecaps as far out as the eye could see. “It's nature biting back.”
Also there is no flooding at what use to be a reliable flood spot: New York Avenue and Prime Avenue in Halesite.
UPDATED 10:23 A.M.
Huntington Town trying to keep storm drains clear
In a Monday morning news release, William Naughton, superintendent of highways for the Town of Huntington, asked residents to move bagged leaves onto their lawns and away from the roads.
He added that town crews had been out since 5 a.m. to clear storm drains from leaves and debris to help prevent flooding.
Residents can reach the Town of Huntington Highway Hotline at 631-499-0444.
-- Josh Stewart
UPDATED 10:12 A.M.
UPDATED 10:11 A.M.
UPDATED 10:10 A.M.
UPDATED 9:53 A.M.
Stony Brook updates students on storm
Stony Brook University sent out a news release Monday morning to update students, faculty and staff on procedures regarding Hurricane Sandy.
Robert J. Lenahan, chief of police and assistant VP for campus safety at the school, said that Stony Brook’s main campus “is not located within one of the designated flood or high risk locations.”
He added that the Long Island State Veterans Home, which is on the main campus, accepted 18 patients from long-term care facilities in flood-prone areas.
Updates are available at http://www.stonybrook.edu/emergency/alerts.shtml.
-- Josh Stewart
UPDATED 9:49 A.M.
UPDATED 9:33 A.M.
Merrick Road entrance ramps closed in both directions
Flooding has closed the Merrick Road entrance ramps in both directions to the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway, Route 135, Nassau County police said in a traffic advisory at 9:20 a.m.
-- Rosemary Olander
UPDATED 9:32 A.M.
Last-minute supplies arrive in Wading River
Batteries were still hanging rows deep on their displays at Ace Hardware in Wading River, though most other hurricane supplies were gone or dwindling Monday morning.
Store manager Jim Yantz said customers had been streaming in over the past few days, but he felt more of a sense of urgency before Tropical Storm Irene last year.
“There was more panic with Irene,” said Yantz, of Center Moriches, who only asked a few local employees to come in Monday. “We didn't have anything left at all for that. Every battery was gone. Maybe people still have some left from then.”
Still, Yantz said he heard from the Ace warehouse upstate that all the Long Island stores would get a shipment Monday with last-minute supplies.
Yantz split a shipment with the East Setauket store, and a van arrived at about 9 a.m. with flashlights, lanterns, power cords and disposable coolers.
Even if his customers are already prepared, based on what he saw last year, he expected the supplies to go.
“Last year we got a shipment like this, too,” he said, before taking coffee and breakfast orders from his employees. “it was like ants at a picnic. I don't know how they knew it was here.”
Yantz said the store will stay open today “for as long as Mother Nature allows."
UPDATED 8:56 A.M.
UPDATED 8:40 A.M.
Waves in Bayville cresting at 10 feet
Off the North Shore community of Bayville, waves on the Long Island Sound were cresting at 10 feet, far higher than typical seas of one to two feet, by 8 a.m., with high tide expected at around 11:30 a.m.
Though Oyster Bay Village ordered an evacuation of any home at 15 feet elevation or less, many residents in the evacuation zone have remained in their homes, especially on the South Shore facing the harbor.
The evacuation order includes the shorefront for the eastern two-thirds of the island.
There was no flooding overnight in Bayville, but that was expected to change by the morning high tide and then again, and more drastically, around midnight Monday when the high tide returns.
There’s no emergency shelter in Bayville, and flooding is expected to shut down the main road connecting the village to the nearest shelter, in Locust Valley.
-- Bill Bleyer
UPDATED 8:10 A.M.
Long Beach residents check out waves
As high tide began in Long Beach, Joe McGee headed to the boardwalk at about 7:30 a.m. to see the waves with two friends, all of them occasional surfers.
“I had to see this,” said McGee, 22, of Long Beach, pointing to the waves crashing over the jetties.
He climbed the sand barrier in front of the boardwalk near New York Avenue to take pictures. He didn't stay long because of the strong winds.
Others joined McGee on the boardwalk, all marveling at the wave heights.
“I'd love to be out there. Look at the waves, they're awesome,” McGee said. “But it's dangerous .?.?. I 'll wait to the tail end and then go out to surf.”
As McGee spoke two bicyclists passed him on the boardwalk, peddling hard against the wind.
-- James Madore
UPDATED 7:53 A.M.
UPDATED 7:45 A.M.
Send in your Hurricane Sandy photos. http://bit.ly/TPvGlg
UPDATED 7:20 A.M.
UPDATED 7:15 A.M.
News 12 meteorologist Rich Hoffman reports tides could be 5 to 12 feet above normal.
UPDATED 7:10 A.M.
LIPA reports power outages
UPDATED 2:30 A.M.
Sandy inches closer
Hurricane Sandy was about 425 miles southeast of New York City as of 2 a.m., according to the most recent update from the National Hurricane Center. The storm was showing sustained winds of 75 miles power hour and was moving north at 14 miles per hour. The storm is expected to turn northwest today, and make another turn to the west-northwest tonight, the update said. -- Adam Fusfeld
UPDATED 12:45 A.M.
Hurricane Sandy from space
In this stunning video from the International Space Station posted below (mobile users view it at http://bit.ly/RonmvI), the storm is seen on Thursday as it swirls over the Atlantic Ocean on its way up the coast. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 12:15 A.M.
Cuomo to deploy National Guard in Farmingdale
Governor Andrew Cuomo will deploy the National Guard in Farmingdale during a 3 p.m. news conference at the town's Armed Forces Reserve Center, at 25 Baiting Place Road, according to a release from the governor's office. Cuomo is also slated to give updates on the status of Hurricane Sandy and the state's preparations for it. The governor's schedule shows he will make similar appearances at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan at 9:30 a.m. and in Jamaica, Queens at 1 p.m. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 11:25 P.M.
NYSE, Nasdaq to close
Neither the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, as well as the IMF, will not open for trading on Monday in anticipation of disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy. The unusual closures may continue into Tuesday depending on the severity of the disruptions, officials said. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 10:20 P.M.
Flooding begins in Freeport
Flooding has been reported near the Nautical Mile in Freeport, as the slow-moving Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the coast. -- Greg Emerson
While the rain has not begun to fall, flooding due to the storm surge is likely to only get worse. NOAA's projections earlier Sunday pointed to an record storm surge, a 5.8 on a scale of 6, with a range of 6 to 11 feet of surge in Long Island harbor. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 9:58 P.M.
More than 1,000 without power
The Long Island Power Authority reported more than 1,000 customers without power so far, due in part to its decision to de-energize Fire Island as residents were evacuated from the area.
LIPA said it had no plans to de-energize other parts of Long Island as of yet, but outages in North Babylon and several other communities on both shores of the Island affected dozens of customers. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 8:38 P.M.
Lindsay Lohan doesn't get the panic
Long Islander Lindsay Lohan pushed the value of positive thinking on Twitter earlier, urging her followers to “pray for peace” instead of worrying about the coming storm. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 7:34 P.M.
Obama declares state of emergency
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for New York Sunday, opening the door for federal aid to help the state and local governments with evacuation and storm-related activities.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who officially requested the declaration earlier Sunday, thanked Obama “for his quick response to my request for a federal emergency declaration.”
The declaration means that the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, may provide direct and financial assistance to local agencies. -- Greg Emerson
UPDATED 7 P.M.
NYPD use boats to help out in evacuations, rescues
The NYPD is marshaling equipment and officers on land and in the waterways to handle emergencies brought on by Hurricane Sandy.
Police said they are using motorized flat-bottomed boats to rescue people where necessary and help out in evacuations. NYPD tow trucks and highway patrol units are being tasked with aiding stranded motorists and retrieving vehicles abandoned along evacuation routes.
But because of expected gale-force winds, the NYPD relocated its helicopters from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. Police boats not being used in rescue operations are being repositioned in safe bay areas and farther up the Hudson River to avoid being damaged.
Since some police will be working extended tours, the NYPD has trucked in extra cots and ready-to-eat meals to station houses and the 911 call center. -- Anthony DeStefano
UPDATED 6:45 P.M.
Huntington residents tie up boats
Mike Zdanowski of Fort Salonga, a member of the Ketewomoke Yacht Club in Halesite, spent Sunday afternoon ripping out the carpet of the club's first floor and moving furniture up to the 2nd floor of the small wood-framed facility.
He and other members of the club put an anchor on a large ice box then placed it on a float and tied it to a fence. When Tropical Storm Irene hit the area last year, members found the large ice box floating in the parking lot.
“During Irene .?.?. the water got to the street,“ he said.
He also secured his 31-foot-long sailboat.
“This club has about 60 members, many of whom came to take precautions,“ Zdanowski said, adding “all the important stuff” was taken upstairs to the second floor.
Tom Burger, 42, of East Northport, took Friday off work to help out. Burger helped tie up the dinghies and secure his 24-foot-long sailboat.
Club member, Bill Cody, 49, of Huntington, said the slow-moving storm has the potential to do more damage than Irene did last year.
“You got a full moon and a high tide so the water is going to be about here,“ the 6-foot-1-inch Cody said, gesturing to his shoulder. His son Finn, 12, accompanied him. The seventh-grader at St. Patrick's School in Huntington said he couldn't be more thrilled about having an extra day off school, but “I'm worried about Halloween.“
Across Route 110, Guy Jackman, 51 of East Northport, sat waiting for customers at the Tuscany Salon.
“We have a full book today,“ he said.
The front windows of the salon were boarded up but inside it was business as usual.
“Everybody is taking precautions but nobody has canceled,“ Jackman said.
Mitch Hauser, 52, owner of Crew Kitchen and Bar on Route 110, was busy delegating moving furniture and loose items. He said he learned a lesson from Irene and is doing things differently this time around.
“It was tough,“ he said of Irene. “We were out of power for five days.“
This time he said he's cleaning out the furniture and ornaments from the front of his restaurant and will close Monday and Tuesday. He cut back his food orders to avoid waste and health hazards in case the power is out for days again.
“This area floods badly and that's why they did the road project,“ he said referring to the unfinished work being done on New York Avenue and its new roundabout. -- Tania Lopez
UPDATED 6:30 P.M.
Surfers ride waves at Lido Beach
As most Long Islanders were heading away from the beach Sunday, some surfers were doing the opposite. Many of them were trying to catch some of the initial storm surge, full-moon high tide and ride the afternoon waves.
Alex Mundo, 24, of Merrick, went to Lido Beach's West Town Park at 1 p.m. planning to stay until 5 p.m. He said he could not miss the opportunity because such high tides rarely come to Long Island.
“The waves are awesome, but it’s dangerous,” he said. “It’s one time a year that we turn into lunatics and do stupid things, but we try not to get hurt .?.?. Being a surfer, I kind of get a good idea of how these storms work.“
A coastal flood warning is in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Tuesday. -- Nelson Oliveira
UPDATED 6 P.M.
Hurricane Sandy even closes Starbucks
There are some things that people rely on to get them through the day, and for many that includes a cup of coffee from Starbucks.
However, with Hurricane Sandy fast approaching Long Island, residents of Hampton Bays might be surprised to find their local Starbucks closed.
The coffee shop’s location in the King Kullen shopping center in Hampton Bays closed around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, while normal business hours would keep it open until 10 p.m.
“Our district manager made the call,” said Stephany Mohring, 25, of Shirley, a barista at the Hampton Bays Starbucks. “There was a conference call at 1 p.m. to close early.”
The same precautions were taken last year during Tropical Storm Irene. Closing was called early for the safety of the Starbucks employees, according to Mohring. As it stands, the Hampton Bays location will be closed until further notice.
“We will definitely be closed tomorrow and we’ll see about Tuesday,” Mohring said. -- Andrew Kozak
UPDATED 5:55 P.M.
Last boats pulled out of Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue
Early Sunday morning, husband and wife Alex and Christine Galasso, owners of Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue, pulled the final three boats out of the water.
By 1 p.m., they put a stop to hauling boats when winds began to intensify as Hurricane Sandy came closer.
“We’ve been busy for days getting everything off of the ground,” said Christine Galasso, of Aquebogue.
The Galassos, as well as their employees, have been busy for days responding to concerned boat owners who have not yet winterized their boats for the season. All weekend, small boats have been pulled out of the water and towed back to boat owners’ properties. Larger boats have been tightly shrink wrapped, hauled out of the water and placed high up in storage racks.
For the boats that are remaining in the water, the marina has worked hard to ensure their safety by using extra line and fenders as well as putting all canvasses and protective tarps down. Those already hauled out of the water are being placed higher up than usual due to expected storm surges of more than 5 feet.
“We’re going higher this time, a lot higher than we did for Irene,” said marina employee Glen Spencer, 39, of Riverhead, referring to outdoor storage for boats. Luckily, the marina experienced no damages or flooding during Tropical Storm Irene last year. “We don’t know what to expect. If the forecast comes through, it won’t be pretty.”
With all necessary preparations in place and the last large boat hauled out of the water, the owners and employees of Lighthouse Marina have nothing left to do now but wait out the storm.
“We are as best prepared as we can be, hopefully over prepared,” Christine Galasso said. -- Amanda Douville
UPDATED 5:30 P.M.
Rumba Restaurant holds ‘end of days’ meal before Sandy
Nestled directly on Shinnecock Bay, Rumba, an island-inspired restaurant, had a spray-painted plywood sign outside that read, “Hurricane Shelter Food & Rum.”
Inside, a small table with four trays of food and side dishes was set up for patrons to take from as they please. Shannon Kubiak, owner of Rumba, was offering a $15 all-you-can-eat buffet before Hurricane Sandy hits Long Island.
Kubiak, 36, of Shoreham, sat at the end of his bar Sunday eating ribs and drinking soda.
“We’re boarding up the restaurant and getting ready,” he said. “We didn’t do a big order, just enough to get rid of food before the storm comes. Kind of like an end-of-days buffet.”
Kubiak, a Florida native, expects Hurricane Sandy to be severe and is preparing for the worst. He has already boarded up entrances to his restaurant and has a pile of sandbags ready to be placed in front of all doors to prevent flooding. Kubiak also uses a spray foam to secure his doors and keep water out.
Last year, during Tropical Storm Irene, Rumba suffered minimal flooding, he said, but the dock that extends from the rear parking lot into Shinnecock Bay was completely destroyed. It wasn’t replaced until this past spring and Kubiak admits there is little that can be done to try and save it.
“We’re prepared with a generator,” he said. “We’ll open as soon as possible. We’re one of the hottest spots, even in the summer. I think we’ll be all right. It is our third year here and we’re doing pretty well.” -- Andrew Kozak
UPDATED 5 P.M.
LI students competing in state marching band championship cut trip short
Many of the more than 1,000 Long Island high school students who spent the weekend in Syracuse competing in a state marching band championship cut their trips short Sunday because of the storm.
The Huntington Blue Devil Marching Band, with 116 members competing at 2 p.m. in the New York State Field Band Conference Championship at the Carrier Dome, had been scheduled to stay overnight in Syracuse and return Monday.
But band and school district officials made the decision to head home immediately after their performance, out of concern that roads and bridges might become unsafe.
Several of the other 10 Long Island bands were expected to do the same.
Those competing Sunday included Floral Park, Division Avenue, Roslyn, Malverne, Walt Whitman, Garden City, Copiague and Sachem.
Brentwood and Mineola were scheduled to compete later Sunday. -- MARGARET CORVINI
UPDATED 4:45 P.M.
NICE bus shutting down for storm
Several Long Islanders expressed concern Sunday over the possibility of losing public transportation for the next couple days.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is shutting down trains, subways and buses because of Hurricane Sandy. NICE bus operations also are shutting down for the storm.
“I have to work tomorrow,” Carlos Suchite, 21, said in Spanish as he boarded an eastbound NICE N4 bus near his Valley Stream home. “I hope nothing happens.”
At the nearby Long Island Rail Road station, Natalie Ormeno, 24, rushed to catch an eastbound train to Long Beach so that her daughter, Jaelle, could visit her father, and make it back before the final train leaves at 6:26 p.m. Sunday.
Jaelle’s father originally planned a birthday party for his daughter, who turns 1 Monday, but that had to be canceled because of the storm.
“I don’t like to drive,” a flustered Ormeno said as she pushed a stroller onto the Valley Stream station elevator. “It scares me, especially when I’m alone.”
At Island Park Station, Jim Corbit, 23, arrived home by train from a Halloween party in Manhattan and said he expected he wouldn't be on another train for a while. Island Park saw the worst flooding of all the LIRR’s 124 stations last year during Tropical Storm Irene. The low-lying station was submerged for days.
“I had to drive,” Corbit, a programmer who works in Manhattan, said of his commute during Irene. “We’ll see what happens, I guess.” -- Alfonso Castillo
UPDATED 4:15 P.M.
Long Beach residents grab last-minute supplies
When Tropical Storm Irene hit Long Island last year, Eric Caballero, 38, of Long Beach, lost power for four days and had two feet of water in his basement. As Hurricane Sandy, a potentially larger storm, approached Long Island on Sunday, Caballero said he feels much more prepared.
“I learned my lesson last year. I went out and bought a generator, and I took everything out of the basement,“ he said.
Caballero said he also broke down some old trees in his yard and put all loose items from his garage in plastic bins.
Steven Kolodny, 53, also of Long Beach, focused his time Sunday on getting his power supplies ready. Kolodny has a generator and bought four 120-volt pumps, three 12-volt pumps and another one that runs on batteries just in case the generator fails.
“I'm as prepared as Mother Nature will let me be,“ he said. “The storm might not take down a power line, but some idiot out in his car can crash into a pole and take down the power.“
Kolodny also bought 24 sandbags for his garage and front doors.
Other Long Islanders were still shopping for their storm supplies Sunday afternoon. At Trio Hardware in Plainview, customers endured long lines.
Anticipating a supply shortage, co-owner Bruce Carlow sent someone to Ohio Saturday to get more flashlights, batteries and lanterns.
Liz Galasso, 43, of Plainview said her husband had gone to the store in the morning and was told to come back later. She showed up at the store right after 2 p.m. and did not find what she needed.
The extra order of lanterns lasted less than three hours. As of 2 p.m., the store was also out of generators and it had only seven propane tanks left.
“I think it's going to be bad, but I hope the power doesn't go out,“ she said. “I have a lot of trees in my yard and I'm afraid they'll come down." -- Nelson Oliveira
UPDATED 3:45 P.M.
Massapequa Park under mandatory evacuation
The southern portion of Massapequa Park is among the low-lying areas under the Nassau evacuation mandate Sunday.
About 2,000 village residents live in the evacuation zone south of Merrick Road, Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said Sunday.
“It is the individual’s decision [on whether to evacuate] but the county is sending a message to everyone to be prepared,” he said. “And we are prepared. Village Hall will be open and we have our crews ready.” --Emily Ngo
UPDATED 3:30 P.M.
Hamptons boat owners hurry to remove boats
Green painters tape marked an “X” on each of the windows of the office at Hampton Watercraft and Marine, as workers hurried outside to remove boats from the Shinnecock Canal in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
Wind gusts splashed salt water from the canal as boats were removed and placed on land at a quick pace. Mike Friscia, manager of the Hampton Bays marina, hurriedly hopped off one boat before it was lifted out of the water and ranto bring the next in line from its dock slip to the lift.
In the last few days, he and his crew had removed almost 75 boats from their marina. They dock 110 boats in total throughout the season and store about 200 for the winter. Many of the boat owners had been calling since Thursday to have their boats put on land.
“People are still calling now to have their boats taken out,” Ronnie Kelly, the financial controller, said. “We can only do what we can.”
Kelly, 45, of Southampton, continued to tape the windows of her office, which was now almost empty as the staff was preparing for severe flooding from the approaching hurricane. She said they were lucky last year during Irene but were expecting the worst this year.
“The high tides, surges and full moon combined can cause some serious waves,” Kelly said, “and water can be in the office.”
Boats left in the water will be secured as best they can, she said. Those boats, along with the docks, were going to be tied to pilings in an effort to keep them from floating away.
“Two days ago, it looked like the Fourth of July we had so many boats in the water,” said Friscia, 45, of Hampton Bays. Now many of the docks floated vacant in the water. -- Andrew Kozak
UPDATED: 3 P.M.
NY Wildlife academy closing at 5 p.m.
The New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, which brought about 300 firefighters, instructors and staff from across the country and Spain, will close Sunday at 5 p.m.
The academy was to run through Friday and teach firefighters about wild land fire behavior, incident command protocols and basic skills.
Classes started Friday.
Organizers canceled the rest of the week to be sure that attendees could return safely to their homes, academy information officer Terry Dun said.
In its 15th year, the academy was started in the wake of the 1995 Sunrise fires that destroyed thousands of acres and highlighted a lack of local training about how to attack wildfires. -- Emily Dooley
UPDATED 2:25 P.M.
Transit systems cross-honoring fares until services suspended
New York City Transit subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will honor fares from each agency within the five boroughs of New York City from 5 p.m. until service is suspended in advance of Hurricane Sandy.
Accepting other tickets will help move people around and out of the city before trains, buses and subways shut down for the hurricane, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a statement.
LIRR customers traveling via subway to Jamaica should check the railroad's weekend schedule for the last eastbound train leaving Jamaica before the 7 p.m. suspension of service to avoid being stranded in Jamaica. -- Janet Day
UPDATED 2:15 P.M.
Hampton Bays HS turns into shelter
The Hampton Bays High School basketball team was playing a game in its school gymnasium Sunday morning, but Red Cross volunteers said they were ready to convert the room into an emergency shelter at a moment’s notice.
“We’re open at the present time,” said Scott Wheaton, a Red Cross volunteer and manager of the shelter. “We have no clients at the moment but as soon as people start coming, we set up the shelter.”
Tables and chairs still filled the cafeteria and the basketball game continued in the gym, but those rooms would be immediately cleared for the shelter the minute people arrived, said Wheaton, 61, of Flanders, who is a project manager for the Suffolk County Office of the Greater New York Chapter of the Red Cross.
The high school has been stocked with supplies for the storm including cots, snacks, 100 cases of bottled water and generators. The shelter can handle an influx of 300 people for the hurricane but the number of people that arrive will depend on the mandatory evacuations, Wheaton said. The Red Cross will deliver food to the high school as soon as people arrive.
“We certainly have enough supplies,” said Red Cross volunteer Joan Farrell, of East Quogue. “However long we have to stay, we’ll stay.”
Farrell has been a Red Cross volunteer for 30 years and has provided assistance during several storms, including locally for Tropical Storm Irene and in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina.
The Red Cross has taken similar preparations for Hurricane Sandy as it did for Irene last year. The shelter has a full crew with a nurse practitioner for medical purposes and officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Custodians have brought in extra generators this year, just in case.
“This really shows a good partnership between the Hampton Bays school district and the Red Cross,” said Wheaton. -- Andrew Kozak
UPDATED: 2:12 P.M.
Mandatory evacuation for Amityville, Lindenhurst, Village of Babylon
Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer has declared a state of emergency for the entire town, including ordering a mandatory evacuation of beach communities and all areas south of Montauk Highway in the town, Village of Amityville, Village of Babylon and Village of Lindenhurst.
The Town has designated the Babylon Town Hall Annex at 281 Phelps Lane in North Babylon as a place of safe haven. Emergency vehicles will not be able to be on the roads if winds exceed 50 mph.
Residents should check the “In The News” section of townofbabylon.com for further updates as the storm develops. -- Janet Day
UPDATED: 2 P.M.
HEDLINE: Nassau opens 4 shelters
Nassau Police Department spokesman Kenneth Lack said four shelters are open at Nassau Community College, Levittown Memorial High School, Locust Valley High School and SUNY Old Westbury.
More shelters may open as needed and would be coordinated by the American Red Cross.
Two police detectives will be placed at each of the shelters to make sure they are safe and appropriately policed, Lack said.
“The residents should have no fear and feel perfectly comfortable going to these shelters,“ he said. “They will absolutely have a police presence there and will continue to have a police presence as long as the shelter is open.“
A pet shelter is set up at the Athletic Center at Nassau County's Mitchel Field in Uniondale, at the same location a pet shelter was opened during Tropical Storm Irene last year. -- Tania Lopez
UPDATED: 1:50 p.m.
Army Corps. prepares to dredge
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prepared to dredge immediately to open up Long Island's South Shore inlets if they become blocked by the storm, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
Extra debris teams can be sent to the affected areas, he said, adding that after Hurricane Irene, debris was not immediately removed from roads and power lines were found entangled on debris in the road.
The U.S. Coast Guard will not allow any ships into or out of New York Harbor after 6 p.m. Sunday, Schumer said during a Sunday briefing.
Cruise ships must leave the harbor before that time and ships will not be able to dock after that time.
The Coast Guard also will make sure no small boats are on the water, he said, and will continue to fly helicopters over waters to warn boaters to get back to land. -- Janet Day
UPDATED: 1:45 p.m.
Riverhead residents stock up on supplies
Normally on Sundays, Griffing Hardware & Locksmith is closed for the day. However, as Hurricane Sandy approaches Long Island, owner Todd Griffing found it necessary to open for the day in order to help residents prepare.
“We had to open, we have almost everything left,” said Griffing, 42, of Riverhead. “We’re 10 times busier than normal today.”
Griffing Hardware, located on West Main Street in Riverhead, was bustling with customers purchasing a wide range of emergency supply items like flashlights, batteries and lanterns. Shelves and boxes where flashlights and lanterns once stood are now bare. Employees stood behind the counter unpacking box after box of batteries to restock shelves.
One customer, Julie Erdman, a mental health advocate for Aid to the Developmentally Disabled based in Riverhead, was busy purchasing dozens of flashlights and batteries at Griffing for patients living in two apartments on the East End — one in Riverhead and another in Hampton Bays.
“We have to make sure they are well set up especially in Hampton Bays,” said Erdman, 44, of Riverhead. “In Irene, they were out of power for 10 days. We have to make sure they have what they need in case that happens again.”
Griffing and his employees continued unpacking boxes of emergency supplies anticipating a steady flow of customers throughout the day.
“We will be open as long as we can, providing electricity,” said Griffing. “We need to be open for last minute people, which there are a lot of.” -- Amanda Douville
UPDATED 1:40 p.m.
Schumer: ‘Storm could well be the worst we've had in decades’
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the federal government to immediately get ready and be prepared for the state of New York to seek an emergency disaster declaration after the storm hits.
The state has already submitted a pre-landfall disaster declaration request, which will provide federal funding for emergency services and will complement New York City and other municipalities’ preparations for cleanup activities in the wake of the storm.
“It appears all levels of government are acting in close coordination, which is critical in any emergency,“ Schumer said in a statement. “This storm could well be the worst we've had in decades, so we all must be at the highest level of alert. I will continue to be in touch with federal agencies, to ensure they are provided the resources the city, state, and local governments need." -- Janet Day
UPDATED 1:38 p.m.
LIPA reports 180 outages in Roslyn Heights
About 180 Long Island Power Authority customers were without electricity in Roslyn Heights Sunday afternoon after wind caused a tree to fall on power lines, a LIPA spokeswoman said.
Crews were working at the site and power was expected to be restored “shortly,” she said.
A LIPA map showed only a couple dozen other customers were experiencing outages elsewhere on Long Island, including Hicksville, East Islip and Noyack, as of Sunday afternoon. -- Emily Ngo
UPDATED 1:33 p.m.
Mobile home parks evacuated in Islip
Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci has issued a mandatory evacuation for all mobile home parks in the town as well as Category 1 Storm Surge Zones — mainly low-lying areas south of Montauk Highway.
A full list of streets and parcels affected by the order can be found on the Islip Town website at www.townofislip-ny.gov.
Calls will be made to residents in these areas informing them about mandatory evacuation in the Storm Surge Zone.
Residents are strongly encouraged to evacuate during daylight hours well in advance of high tide tonight.
All evacuations must be completed by 7 p.m. and residents are encouraged to take a minimum of three days of clothing, all medications, and baby supplies.
-- Janet Day
UPDATED 1:30 p.m.
Nassau cops called in on OT to patrol areas under evacuation order
Nassau County police are calling officers in to work on overtime.
Agency spokesman Kenneth Lack said a lot of those officers will be dispatched to patrol in areas under County Executive Edward Mangano's evacuation order.
Lack said it was a precaution they are taking to deter would-be criminals who could take advantage of mandatory evacuations to burglarize vacated homes and businesses.
Officers also will monitor evacuation efforts and assist as needed.
“We're really concerned about the flooding in the low-lying areas and making sure people are evacuated, Lack said.
The evacuation areas in Nassau are: from the Queens line to Rockville Centre south of Sunrise Highway; from Rockville Centre to the Suffolk County line south of Merrick Road on the South Shore. --Tania Lopez
UPDATED 1:25 p.m.
Bayville residents move cars from low-lying streets
The parking lot at St. Gertrude's Roman Catholic Church in Bayville was filled with hundreds of cars moved from driveways in low-lying areas Sunday afternoon, and drivers circled the area looking for places to leave their cars as the storm approached.
Rich and Lauren Straub moved four cars into the lot just before it filled up.
They live on Washington Avenue three houses from the water. -- Bill Bleyer
UPDATED 12:48 p.m.
SPCA preps for pets and their owners in Riverhead
Officials from the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were busy Sunday morning preparing for both animals and their owners at the Corchaug building of Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus in Riverhead, a designated pet-friendly emergency shelter.
“We’re accepting animals just as we did last year during Hurricane Irene,” said Steve Laton, 58, chief of operations for the Suffolk County SPCA. “We’re very prepared this year.”
More than 70 cots were lined up behind the sliding doors of the Corchaug building as residents from all over the eastern end of Long Island began coming in.
Members from Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, were preparing the building for incoming residents, making sure backup generators were working and enough cots, blankets and pillows were delivered.
Tony Brown, 63, vice president of Suffolk County CERT, said animals will be set up on one side of the shelter and people will be on the other. The shelter is set up to accommodate 50 people, but officials could make room for another 25, he said.
He said the shelter housed about 65 people during Tropical Storm Irene last year, with a maximum of 55 people who take advantage of it on one day. He said the shelter is prepared for residents to stay for between three and five days.
“We’re expected to be here until Wednesday but we’re prepared to stay longer,” he said. -- Amanda Douville
UPDATED 12:30 p.m.
Bayville opens shelter at Locust Valley HS
The Bayville Village board met in emergency session at 10 a.m. Sunday and went over preparations.
“DPW is completely prepared,“ Village administrator Maria Alfano-Hardy said afterward, referring to the Department of Public Works.
Village officials said they would open village hall at the regular time Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. and then probably keep the building open round-the-clock until the storm has passed.
The village also made an automatic emergency call to all residents around noon telling them that the shelter was open at Locust Valley High School and that the county has urged residents along the shoreline to leave.
Many residents were following that advice Sunday.
Others were moving their cars to higher ground behind St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church and at the village elementary and intermediate schools.
The village experienced minor flooding last year with Irene and severe flooding during nor'easters in the fall and winter of 1992 and 1993. -- Bill Bleyer
Above: Moriches Bay floods streets at the intersection of South Ocean Avenue and Inlet View Road in Center Moriches as Hurricane Sandy approaches. (Oct. 27, 2012)