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Westchester, Long Island Brace For Nicole, Part II

Flooding, Winds Worry Residents, Business Owners
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A massive tree limb took down power lines with it in Yorktown Heights on September 29, 2010. (credit: Jeff Capellini)

A massive tree limb took down power lines with it in Yorktown Heights on September 29, 2010. (credit: Jeff Capellini)

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A native New Yorker, Lou Young joined CBS 2 in June 1994. He has...
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BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Westchester County and Long Island residents know all too well what a storm of this magnitude can do.

Before the deluge, up above New York City, the Bronx River runs high and wide, threatening not only its namesake parkway, but the communities along its banks.

CBS 2’s Lou Young reports that people in the area remember what it has done before.

“Three years ago we had 8 feet waters inside the shop. We lost all our equipment. We lost all the electricity. We lost all the electrical computers and we took a beating. We had no insurance,” Bronxville business owner Frank DiBona said.

DiBona said he was going to move the cars in his auto shop to high ground Thursday night and stay close to watch the river along with his neighbors.

“Most likely we’ll stay home and my wife will probably park in the street instead of parking in the lot because it’ll definitely flood,” resident Anthony Yeager said.

Yorktown is also preparing for the worst with the stormy weather.

“It’s a large problem with the leaves coming down – being that we had such a dry winter, a lot of the trees are already dropping their leaves – so that’s where it’s an issue,” Yorktown Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo told WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi. “The guys were just out with rakes and stuff making sure our catch basins and our waterways are open so water can flow.”

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi with details from a county official.

It was a similar story in Mamaroneck where the Sheldrake and Mamaroneck rivers meet.  Neighbors said in conditions like these things go south quickly.

When the Sheldrake River flooded before, it happened fast, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. The leading edge took a toll slamming a ten ton tree into the Congers home of Chris Emmet.

“I heard this noise and I saw the tree coming down on the house and I said ‘oh my God.’ What’s going on? No one got hurt that’s all that matters,” Emmet said.

“There’s no warning. There’s no one going around with sirens or anything. You just start seeing the police blocking off the streets and you get the idea it’s getting that high,” resident Marc Schulman said.

The situation on Long Island on Thursday was similar as the driving rainstorm began early and flooded South Shore roadways, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The winds have been blowing like crazy, threatening homes along the coast.

“Steady gusts all day, felt like house was shaking,” said Billy O’Brien of Atlantic Beach.

O’Brien said his dog “Searshau” is not fond of storms and will be howling as loudly as the winds that already had brought down a tree in Lido Beach and power lines all over.

Businesses in Seaford worried about high water. Shoreline homes in Wantagh braced for flooding.

As the Long Island Power Authority monitored the boardwalk of Long Beach, Kathryn Beatty arrived to check on her handicapped father.

“He’s legally blind and with the storm coming I’m making sure he has food, candles, that he’s situated, the windows are closed,” Beatty said.

Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan said the town was building sand berms to fight possible erosion and flooding from the high winds and heavy surf at high tide.

“We might have gusts up to 60 mph which makes it possible for loose siding and roofing tiles to come down so for that reason it’s especially important if at all possible to be indoors throughout the duration,” Theofan said.

“It’s really, really bad. It is unusually windy. More so than in the last five years that I have lived here. I know it’s particularly windy when my hate is flying off my head,” one resident told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports on the winds gaining strength along the coast

People in New Hyde Park were dreading the storm on Thursday, recalling the aftermath of nasty weather they faced in August.

“The houses were flooded so high that it was up at the LIPA boxes, and they made all of us evacuate,” one resident told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera talks with New Hyde Park residents about their preparations

Nassau County’s emergency preparedness teams drove to problem sites, while Suffolk’s emergency bunker mobilized for the duration of the storm.

Along the South Shore business and homeowners aren’t taking any chances. They’ve just battened down the hatches — and you can hear why.

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