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Lights Out as Sandy Slams Northport

Widespread damage, power outages Monday night as Hurricane Sandy impacts Northport.

Northport was mostly in the dark Monday night as Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region, causing widespread wind damage but no reported injuries.

Patch rode along with the Northport Police Department through pitch-black neighborhoods and what we encountered were widespread power outages and considerable tree damage.

The highest reported gusts in the state from Sandy registered 94 mph in Eatons Neck at 6:10 p.m.

Related: Storm Photos l Live Blog

Felled trees hung from sagging power lines along nearly every roadway, the worst being Scudder Avenue. Two downed trees made it impassable between Washington Place and Park St.

Suffolk County and Northport police patrolled Fort Salonga Road and its darkened intersections. But Northport Police Chief Ric Bruckenthal was encouraged by the public’s response. 

“I’m glad most people heeded the warnings to stay indoors,” Bruckenthal said. “That’s helped a lot.”

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Northport Police had its own issues Monday as their offices switched to a backup generator and they abandoned their VHF radios after the signal at Ocean Ave. School failed. They continued to communicate on a backup system. 

LIPA reports more than 329,000 customers without power in Suffolk County, including 8,189 in East Northport, 6,345 in Elwood, 4,248 in Centerport, 2,031 in Greenlawn, 177 in Northport, 81 Eatons Neck and 22 Asharoken.

Crews won’t be deployed until the storm passes.

And judging from the damage – one tree blocked Cherry St. and took down power lines on both sides of the street – It will be days before LIPA gets everyone back on the grid.

The wind was that intense.

“It felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz,” Bruckenthal said.

Main Street went three days without power when Tropical Storm Irene blew through in August 2011.

Both Northport-East Northport and Elwood school districts have cancelled classes Tuesday.

The other major concern in Northport has been flooding. Asharoken Ave. was closed to flooding as the Long Island Sound pounded the seawall. A midday high tide brought storm surge over the bulkhead in Northport Harbor, submerging the Village dock and flooding much of the parking lot at the head of Main Street. 

Village officials are concerned about the next high tide expected at 11:53 p.m.

When the sun comes up Tuesday, the storm will be gone but the recovery will only just be starting.

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Marianne Vaiana October 30, 2012 at 06:17 PM
How high was the flood water up on main street? I remember back in 1985 when Huricane Gloria hit, my husband, 3 year old duaghter and I were stranded in the sweet shop as the water rose into the shop. There was at the time a surf shop up the street and people were actually surfing down main street- a sight I will never forget.
Jason Molinet October 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@Marianne I went to the Harbor after 11 p.m. Monday anticipating the worst. There was an eerie silence, save the droning of a generator-power light stand. Several others wandered toward Northport Village Park. But from the blackness that was the harbor came a calm lapping sound up the parking lot. The water crested just beyond the dumpsters and did not spill onto Main Street beyond Woodbine Ave. Disaster -- by flood as least -- averted.
Cliff October 31, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Go check out the residences across from the Fifth Avenue School and that entire area. It's like a war zone! Huge Oaks haven fallen on houses, cars, boats and many across the middles of streets. Photos I've seen haven't compared to this area. My thoughts and prayers got out to those families affected!

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