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Tracking Henri: Fire Island Residents, Visitors Urged To Leave Before Storm Slams Area

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Concerns across Suffolk County about Hurricane Henri led to preparations Saturday.

All signs are pointing to a Suffolk County slam from Hurricane Henri, with warnings slapped up on electronic message boards over roads.

The concern spread out to the beaches of Fire Island.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reports, one beach in Fire Island Pines was Less crowded than usual for midday on a Saturday because many were following the advice to pack up and head out.

"We're leaving because this is a low lying barrier island. We're right on the ocean ... Better to be safe than sorry," one man said.

Fire Island residents and visitors were under pressure to leave Saturday because boats to and from those communities will not be running Sunday.

"If they do not leave the island today, they will be stuck on the island, and we do not know what kind of conditions they may be facing," Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said.

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An excursion to Ocean Beach Fire Island started Friday for a group from the Upper East Side, including Kevin Maloney.

While he is disappointed it wound up being only half a trip, he says it's better this way.

"We just thought we'd be safe. You know, we figured we might as well just leave the island today. There's no ferries tomorrow, so we just wanted to make sure we got out," he said.

Some people left Long Island altogether for fear they'll get stuck.

Long Island MacArthur Airport could see canceled flights multiply because of Henri.

"If they try to get out tomorrow, they might have a harder time," Carlin said to one woman.

"They will definitely have a hard time ... but hopefully we will survive. Everything's fine. No power lost," she said.

One family from Islip rushed to prepare their property for wind and storm surge before scrambling to catch their flight.

"It's a little nerve-racking," the daughter said.

"It's definitely very stressful, but it's also good to kind of get out of this mess," the son said.

"Did lines on the boat. We made sure that we gave it a little more slack so if the tides go up, it'll go up with it. We took all our furniture in and things like that," the mother said.

They're ready to leave, but wondering already what they'll find post-storm when they return home.

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