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Opinion

Filler: The thrill and dread before a hurricane like Sandy

The Long Island Sound, shot around 10 a.m.,

The Long Island Sound, shot around 10 a.m., near Short Beach in the Smithtown/Nissequoge area. Credit: Lane Filler

In Smithtown Monday morning it was largely a tale of two storms.

Where I live, on Route 25A, and on the main roads such as Jericho Turnpike, there were stiff but not alarming winds, on-again, off-again rain and a little traffic. It was inclement and dreary, but it didn’t feel dangerous.

But a few miles north, on the actual shore of the Long Island Sound, an epic weather event was clearly already under way, and building.

Around 10 a.m., close to high tide, the surf boiled furiously and the wind whipped at what felt like at least 40 mph, with much stronger gusts.

Often when we head to a Sound Beach for a day of recreation, the water looks more like a really big lake than Long Island Sound. This morning, the waves were pounding, the spray was blowing, and it felt not just like the Sound, but like an ocean in a Scottish postcard.

As a journalist, and an easily excited manchild, I always have mixed feelings about coming storms. I don’t want anyone hurt, and I surely don’t want to be inconvenienced by a long spell sans electricity, Internet and hot water, but I do love wild, woolly weather.

I love to watch it, to go out in it, to listen to it and take pictures of it and write about it.

And I know a lot of people share some of those feelings.

At a party Saturday night I heard more than one person say, “Well, I hope we see a real storm this time.”

Of course, other people, often their spouses, responded, “Let’s see if you still feel that way after a week of no power, and kids trapped in the house, thanks to no school.”

But all you have to see is the people hanging around by the water every time a television station goes to a remote shot from the beaches to see how many folks like exciting weather.

It offers a break in the monotony and it is thrilling, the Mother Nature version of a roller-coaster ride. The main difference is that you can see how long a roller-coaster ride lasts and how scary it’s going to be before you get on.

With a hurricane, it’s anybody’s guess, which adds even more spice to the adventure.

Pictured above: The Long Island Sound, shot around 10 a.m., near Short Beach in the Smithtown/Nissequoge area.

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