At 5 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for all of Long Island after predictions of the path of Hurricane Irene shifted overnight to have the eye pass over the center of the island.
Maximum sustained winds for early Sunday, when the large storm is expected to strike the region, are 100 miles per hour.
Storm surge predictions have been modified by hurricane forecasters and suggest a probability of surges greater than three feet for the East Coast from Nantucket to the Rockaways. Increasing ocean swells are expected starting late Friday.
At Waldbaum's in East Hampton on Thursday around 8:30, if you wanted to know what you needed to have on hand for a hurricane, you needed only study which shelves were left bare. All of the bottled water was sold out and an employee said she didn't expect they would get any more. The boxes of shelf-stable milk were completely gone and there were only a couple of loaves of "regular" bread left. The Goya bean shelves were nearly empty and there wasn't a single jar of organic peanut butter or plain shelf-stable soy milk in the store.
By the front entrance, a man was grabbing one of the last cases of Peligrino. Another employee said that on seeing how much people were buying up the essentials, his manager had added to his order that afternoon.
With reporting by Carissa Katz