With all the hysteria about Irene, I dug up my photos from the last big hurricane to hit Long Island: Gloria in 1985. I was living in East Hampton, New York, which was in the Northeast Quadrant (most severe) of the storm, which Wikipedia says "produced Category 3 winds across Long Island". I had never before (or since) seen the ocean like this--the pictures don't really do it justice:
It took me only 15 minutes to drive down to the ocean, but a couple hours to get home:
The next day the weather was beautiful, but the beach was just about wiped clean:
And there was pretty severe damage too:
The electrical power on the east end, by LILCO in those days, was always terrible and unreliable, and we were without power (IIRC) for more than a week. I was working for Bran Ferren in those days, and we spent a day or so getting a generator up and running--we were about to connect it when the power finally came back on.
More pictures here.