LI was also under a flood watch, in effect from Saturday evening through Sunday night.
Long Islanders took boats out of the water, stocked up on supplies, parked their cars on higher ground, and, just to be safe, packed their bags in case Hurricane Irene forces them to flee Sunday.
"I'll take my pictures, my cats and my husband," said Peggy Henfling of Long Beach. "Pretty much everything else insurance can cover."
The Henflings were among thousands living near the water who prepared Thursday for the storm.
The Henflings, who have lived in Long Beach for seven years, bought gasoline, canned food, a can opener and several gallons of water. They also will bring their cats if forced to leave.
"We want to be here to keep an eye on things," said Asharoken resident Rita Rover, who spent Thursday bringing patio furniture inside, securing kayaks and rowboats, and tying down her prize chrysanthemums.
Eatons Neck resident Pam Vogt, who lives on Old Winkle Point Road with her partner, Dr. Angela Andretta, brought in furniture and plants Thursday and lifted her 19-foot sailboat out of the water. And what if Asharoken Avenue gets washed out and they are stranded? "I grew up here," Vogt said. "We used to get stuck all the time."
While residents of this community on the Sound were not unnerved by the approaching storm, most of the guests at a local bed-and-breakfast canceled reservations for the weekend, said innkeeper Ed Carr. "Most people [residents] don't mind staying put and lighting the lantern and putting a log on the fire," he said. "Native Eatons Neckers and Asharokenites to some degree enjoy the storm."
He readied a generator in the rear of his restaurant. In his basement, he moved every can and bottle at least 3 feet off the floor.
For husband and wife Frank and Tracey Sloup, owners of Crabs Unlimited in Bay Shore, the coming storm meant hauling up 600 crab traps. "If you leave them out there, they're gone," Tracey Sloup said.
At their home and warehouse on Orowoc Creek in Bay Shore, the couple tied down anything that could blow away, and secured their floating dock with whelk traps so it would not get carried away by the storm surge.
Nearby, at Seaborn Marina, manager Lou Steinbrecher watched a boatlift hoist a 41-foot yacht called "Our ATM II" into dry dock. "We're pulling every single boat out of the water," said Steinbrecher, whose office has been inundated with calls.
Lou Delli-Pizzi, who lives on Sequams Canal in West Islip, checked the forecast every hour, weighing the options for his 46-foot sport fishing boat.
"I hope this is like the earthquake, a big nothing," said Delli-Pizzi, 46, who has boat insurance and flood insurance. "Unless it gets really bad, I'll stay home."
With Jennifer Barrios, Mitchell Freedman, Jennifer Maloney and Candice Ruud