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Nassau County Residents Clear Out As Storm Moves In

Nassau County

Nassau County as Hurricane Sandy approached. (Credit: CBS 2)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — In parts of Nassau County on Long Island Sunday night, people in low-lying areas were ordered to pack their things and go.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, as the sun went down, the impending storm stirred up waves and thrill-seekers on surfboards were still pushing the limit.

“Long Beach is a surf city,” said city Manager Jack Schnirman. “Folks are trying to get one last wave in before the storm.”

But it was ill-advised and dangerous, especially since this and other barrier islands had been ordered evacuated.

High tide was expected to arrive between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., and 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday. In addition to the tidal surges, hurricane-force winds are expected to strike at 3 p.m. Monday.

In waterfront buildings where sandbags stood guard, and some windows were taped over, one resident wasn’t sure of leaving.

“We’re in an apartment building, so we’re high up and it’s a very secure building,” said Corey Zimmerman. “I think we’re going to go.”

But a couple of hours earlier, Vincent Pavlowsky decided it was time.

“I don’t want to stay over here, because I value my life, that’s why. Some love their houses move than they love life. I don’t want to be down here,” he said.

It certainly appeared risky when the new cottage industry here appeared to be filling sandbags. Sump pumps were in position, at the ready.

The streets were also largely vacant, in an eerie sight as police told residents that for their own safety they had to go.

Schnirman said if people choose not to leave, they’re taking a substantial personal risk. But it’s their choice? It is their choice. We cannot physically force folks.”

But County Executive Edward Mangano did have a warning for anyone looking to come in and cause trouble.

To protect residents from anyone who might be seeking to loot or look for trouble, the county has instituted a “very aggressive,” public safety plan, Mangano said.

The Nassau County Police Department has placed many more patrols in affected areas, including marked and unmarked squad cars and electronic surveillance.

The National Guard will join police “in an effort to send a clear message to stay out of Nassau County, or you will be arrested and put away immediately.”

County residents with questions about the order are asked to call (888) 684-4274, and not to call 911 with simple questions.

The projected tidal surge for the Long Island North Shore is 6 to 11 feet, and for the South Shore 5 to 10 feet.

HURRICANE SANDY: Track | Forecast | Severe Weather Guide |Traffic & Transit | Travel Guide

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