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Crowds Board Ferries Out Of Fire Island As Hurricane Nears

Fire Island

Crowds board the ferry to escape Fire Island ahead of Hurricane Sandy. (Credit: CBS 2)

FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The resort community of Fire Island was one of the first areas to go under a mandatory evacuation order for Hurricane Sandy Sunday afternoon.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, people were boarding ferries for safer shores Sunday.

If it was up to me I’d stay out there, because there’s something really interesting about the weather and the change of the seasons. I just love it, but it’s just not smart to do,” one woman said.

The ferries from Fire Island were packed Sunday evening. It’s was time to leave.

“The water is almost up to the deck and this hasn’t even started yet,” another woman said.

On the island, the charming streets were beginning to flood, in yet another warning of what may come. But not everyone was obeying the order to leave.

“I’ve lived here for many years. I’ve stayed through a bunch of storms, and this one is just another storm, hopefully,” said Deborah Bennett. She took the ferry back to Fire Island to stay, but left herself an out.

“There’s a boat at 5:30. I’m aware of that, so I may change my mind,” she said.

Ocean Beach Police Chief George Hess says a mandatory evacuation order will not be enforced physically. But he emphasized that staying was a bad idea.

“If they choose to stay, they’re on their own,” he said. “We’re going to shut down the police department, the fire department, and EMS services.”

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