"We're just looking forward to going to sleep today. It's been hard," said Reyza Fernandez-Ramirez, a Mastic evacuee.
With a meal, a hot shower and a good night's rest, life will get back to normal for the Ramirez family.
"We are ready to go to sleep, we took a shower already," said Edwin Ramirez, a Mastic evacuee.
They spent the day in a in a Red Cross Emergency Shelter at William Floyd High School in neighboring Brookhaven.
A gas leak in a 30,000 gallon tanker in a shopping center parking lot on Montauk Highway forced 900 people in Mastic and Shirley out of their homes.
"I look out the window I see the police, the fire department saying you have to get out! We're evacuating the area!" Ramirez said.
"I obeyed the instructions and left right away. The whole area was blocked off," Fernandez-Ramirez said.
"Actually when we came out. We could smell the gas," said Bill Cunningham, a Mastic evacuee.
As a precaution, the power was shut off to nearby homes, and emergency crews spent the day carefully off loading the propane.
That was done by night fall, but residents still had to wait a few more hours for a door to door check for gas, until Suffolk County cleared them to go home.
"I get back here tonight and I'm wondering, what was all the panic?" said Lori Demir, a Mastic evacuee.
Panic, worry, and celebrations canceled, what a way to start the New Year.
"We were walking down the street wondering when we were going to get back, it was a stressful day," Cunningham said.
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