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A Look Back at Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later

Residents recall living without power and heat for weeks.

It was one year ago Tuesday when Northport residents were left in the cold and dark when Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for thousands of residents.

While Northport experienced far less physical damage than other parts of Long Island, residents felt mostly forgotten, as many awoke to darkness for two weeks. In addition to the cold and darkness, downed trees blockaded roads, power lines sagged and roof shingles littered roadways like fall leaves.

On Grant Street and Dickinson Avenue, a 100-foot tree splintered and fell, partly landing on a house and blocking the entire road, and bringing power lines down with it.

In Asharoken, Sandy turned the Long Island Sound into a battering ram against the sea wall, forcing police to shut the only way out of the area. 

With so many residents out of power, contract crewmen were brought in from all over the country to help restore electricity including 26 electrical line workers from Nevada and Canada, who stayed in a makeshift dorm at the Northport Fire House, with another 13 from South Dakota across the street in the American Legion. They were among the 8,000 out of state line workers called upon to assist the Long Island Power Authority.

When asked on Facebook, Cheryl Tuttle Ondrovic said that she was without electricity, heat and hot water for 11 days. “Praying it does not happen ever again,” she wrote.

While homeowners were in the dark for weeks following the storm, Main Street in Northport was powered up by the morning, which led residents to gather in the Village center to warm up, charge their electronics and share survival stories.

“Families would sit at a table with board games. Most people gathered here just to talk their neighbors,” Stacy Hansen, who owns Copenhagen Bakery with her husband, Flemming, said. 

While the following days and weeks were a nightmare for many residents who struggled to get by without electricity or heat, others demonstrated that, if you can’t beat a hurricane, join it.

Carmela Zambanini Roros said that the power outages didn’t stop her family from enjoying their time off of school, and they took advantage of the storm’s aftermath.

“My kids boogie boarded in the parking lot of Hobart beach and went up and down on the sea saw through the waves. Lost power but had a blast with neighbors on the Neck while feeling horrible for the rest of the Island,” she wrote on Facebook. 

Robert Cohen had a simpler solution to his Sandy survival: “gin,” he wrote on Facebook.

Cindy Halpern October 29, 2013 at 08:41 AM
We drove around in the car to charge the phone and we saw the damage in our neighborhood as well as other neighborhoods. For two days, we went out-of-state to a motel to warm up and get a good night's sleep. We were without power for a week.

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