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Sandy's Dark Cloud Cast Shadow on Black Friday

Shoppers parking and heading into Target to shop for holiday gifts on Black Friday. Credit Darius Radzius
Shoppers parking and heading into Target to shop for holiday gifts on Black Friday. Credit Darius Radzius
Retailers nationwide have been expecting a good holiday shopping season, but it may be a slow start for local stores here on Long Island. It showed in the traffic around the Americana Manhasset Friday morning.

 It was a busy shopping day, but nothing more.

"I'm going shopping for myself," said Cathy, of New Hyde Park. She said came to the Americana Manhasset just as an escape from a hectic Thanksgiving.

"I had to get out of the house after doing all the cooking, so it's all about me today. "A lot of people are spending a lot of money recovering from Sandy," said Sherry Mahavir, who works at Gadgets and Gizmos inside the Broadway Mall in Hicksville.

Which could account for mall parking lots being easier to navigate and reasonable lines at the registers Friday. 

That paved the way for shoppers like Carol Orloff and Melissa Healey, of Plainview. They were determined to get their holiday shopping done in one day starting 8 p.m.

Thanksgiving night and planed to return home by early Friday afternoon.

"We just do it," said Orloff. "It's tradition." There are nationwide reports of shoppers losing control in the Black Friday shopping frenzy: In Moultrie, Ga., a ruckus broke out over a cell phone deal, the Huffington Post reported. In San Antonio, one shopper allegedly pulled a gun on a man who punched him attempting to cut into a line at a Sears store. So far, there are no strange incidents reported on Long Island Friday.

Kelly Durkin, of Levittown, says superstorm Sandy changed her family's holiday shopping plans. "A lot of people lost homes," she said. "My grandparents lost a lot from the flood. We're just going to get them gift cards. That's all they want."

 Even at discount retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target are not seeing as many shoppers as they might have liked. Lisa Herbie, from North Massapequa, said it will be hard to predict how the October storm will impact Long Island stores like the Target in Levittown.  

"People may be still looking for things to donate to other people," Herbie said. Black Friday has also changed a lot over the last decade. With stores competing by opening earlier and earlier.

"I think everyone was here last night and some stores were open on Thanksgiving," Herbie said. Internet shopping has also grown in popularity.

"I did my shopping already online," Cathy added.

Retailers hope to see their sales increase as Long Islanders continue their recover.

Story by Darius Radzius