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Sandy: A Rush Before the Storm

​Sandy’s impact started long before landfall as New Yorkers scrambled to prepare for what would be a history-making storm.

 Bread and Wine

ASTORIA  – The “pure essentials” – Fruit Roll-ups, a bottle of water, popsicles, some fruit, pretzel rods and a bottle of wine. That’s all Emily DeJesus needed to get through Hurricane Sandy.

“I figure I might as well stock up on the important stuff if I’m going to be stuck at home for the next few days,” said DeJesus, who headed to Jolson’s Wines and Liquor on 31st Street with her two roommates as the storm approached.

A WINE TIME: Shoppers picked up some last-minute libations at Jolson’s in Astoria. PHOTO BY: Sophia Rosenbaum

Eric Bernabo, owner of Jolson’s, said his shop is always crowded whenever there’s a natural disaster on the way.

“Whoever said you need bread and water? Get a little bit of red wine and a bottle of vodka and you’ll be all set,” he said. “You won’t even remember the storm happened.”

A few stores down, Rose and Joe’s Italian bakery was out of bread.  “All sold out,” said one of the bakery’s workers.

Sophia Rosenbaum

Waiting for Water

EAST HARLEM – Randy Marshall loaded his blue shopping cart Sunday with jugs of water and bags of rice and brown beans. Then he stood in line for more than 30 minutes at the Associated Supermarket on 120th Street and Third Avenue.

“If I’m riding this out, I know I need food and water,” said Marshall. And he was sure to get it – $57.52-worth, to be exact.

All along Third Avenue, merchants boarded up their windows and taped Xs across exposed glass. A group of kids walked out of a RiteAid at 118th Street empty-handed – the store was sold out of water. Meanwhile, at the Pathmark on 125th Street, the checkout wait time exceeded 45 minutes, noted area resident Marcus Church.

“I’m going home,” he said. “I’m staying home. I’m waiting this thing out.”

Corrie Lacey

A Game of Chicken

EAST VILLAGE – Tiana Ortiz, who lives in the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side with her mother, should have been getting ready to evacuate from the Zone A neighborhood, but instead she waited in line at a supermarket in the East Village.

“I feel that we’re okay on the ninth floor,” she said.

The streets of the neighborhood, though, were emptying quickly. Even the East Village’s community gardens were closed. In one, named “El Jardin Paradiso,” however, three hens and a turkey roamed about, apparently on their own for the duration of the storm.

– Eric Jankiewicz

Dog Day Afternoon

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – While some folks hit stores, others enjoyed the 10th annual Howl-o-Ween dog charity parade at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

DOG WALK: Pet and their owners got into the Halloween spirit along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. PHOTO BY: Latima Stephens.

“I just hope the rain doesn’t mess up my paint,” said Marcin Cybula, of Manhattan. She wore a cardboard rainbow while accompanying her dog, which was dressed as a leprechaun.

Kazuko Oguma, of Brooklyn Heights, and her dog were clad as twin Little Red Riding Hoods. She conceded she was worried about Sandy.

Not so her companion, a wolf in Grandma’s pajamas.

“I’m not concerned about the hurricane,” Oguma’s friend, “Mr. Wolf” quipped. “I’m a wild animal.”

Latima Stephens

From Soup to Nuts

CENTRAL HARLEM – At Fine & Fair Supermarket, where West 132nd Street meets Frederick Douglass Boulevard, friends Shayla Byrd and Ayanna Rhoden debated Sunday whether to buy Homestyle Chicken Noodle soup or another variety.

Earlier, the women, both 29, saw pictures friends posted on Twitter and Facebook of empty grocery store shelves and worried that Fine & Fair would be barren, too.

“You don’t want to get stuck [in your apartment] without food,” Rhoden said.

As she spoke, lines of shoppers wound from the cash registers into almost every aisle. Carts and baskets were filled with milk, juice, eggs and large bottles of Poland Spring water. One woman unloaded can upon can of green beans onto the conveyor belt. Another man pushed a cart filled with a half-dozen bags of shredded cheese.

“It’s never been this packed,” said store employee Ray Santana, 26. “Normally, I’m the produce guy, but I’m doing everything today because it’s so busy.”

Maya Rajamani\

Sandbag Survival

PATCHOGUE — Bobby Farenga expected surging storm water to come right up to his door on Ocean Avenue. His condo is only six feet above sea level, he said, and his street regularly floods during storms.

“People are going to be kayaking up and down the street,” he predicted as he created a makeshift sandbag wall in front of his home.

“What can you do?  It’s the south shore of Long Island,” he said.

 

SANDY-BAGGED: Residents on Long Island’s South Shore stocked up on sandbags. PHOTO BY: Andrew Welsch

Ed and Mary Halverson also bought sandbags at Home Depot to pile up in front of the doors at their waterfront restaurant, appropriately named On the Waterfront.

Ed Halverson said that when he bought the restaurant 33 years ago, a storm flooded his restaurant, forcing him to replace all the rugs. He hoped that Sandy would not do as much damage, but he anticipated it might be time for new rugs again.

“I survived that one, and I’ll survive this one too,” said Halverson, a retired Suffolk County police officer.  “You just got to stay calm and wait it out.”

Andrew Welsch