No Long Island Evacuations for Earl, Yet


Gregory Camillucci stared at a calm Fire Island inlet from the deck of his Oak Beach home on Wednesday and still had a storm named Earl on his mind.

"I have a load of plywood in my basement that I would be able to board up the windows; but this one, we hope will pass," he said.

Camillucci has already lived through other storms, like Hurricane Gloria -- but if Earl hits, he will ride it out at his second home in Manhattan -- not on Long Island.

Other shore line residents, however, won't be forced to leave their Long Island homes.

"We do not anticipate any evacuations at this time," said Suffolk county executive Steve Levy at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Still, Long Island is under a tropical storm watch and officials expect eastern Long Island to be hit with wind gusts up to fifty miles an hour, rough surf and three to five inches of rain.

That forecast was enough to prompt Tony and Gina Calabro to pull their boat, Carpe Diem, from the waters off Point Lookout in Nassau county.

"If we take it out of the water, the storm won't hit; if we leave it in, it will hit.  So this is the best way to ensure the storm won't hit," joked Tony Calabro.

The Labor Day weekend is a busy one on the water; but some of Long Island's more than one hundred thousand boaters spent part of their Wednesday in port, working to protect their boats from whatever Earl might bring.

"The wind can come across the ocean, through the bay and bounce around the boats," said boat owner Roy McComb as he tied up his vessel.  "It can get real bad."

Local officials, like Hempstead's town supervisor Kate Murray, urged all boaters to heed weather and Coast Guard warnings and stay close to shore when Earl's impact is felt.

There are also worries about potential power outages and to that end, Suffolk county officials confirmed that some1,500 utility workers from across New Yo are now on stand-by, ready to come to Long Island's aid at a moment's notice.

"We need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst," said Murray, echoing a sentiment many Long Islanders appear to be taking to heart.

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