DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jose weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm Wednesday, but was still churning in the Atlantic Ocean just offshore from the Tri-State Area.
Coastal flood advisories were in effect until noon Wednesday for parts of Long Island and New Jersey.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on 100 members of the National Guard to patrol eastern Suffolk County, where state officials have set up a storm response command post.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Jose took a swipe at Long Island as a nor’easter – flooding shorelines, including at Jones Beach State Park. McLogan reported while standing in several inches of water on the beach right in front of the boardwalk.
Officials said this was just the second time they ever remember having to close Jones Beach State Park. The first was Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
Fortunately, there was no permanent damage from Jose. But Jones Beach State Park still had to close.
“The park is closed. It’s not safe. We have the entire beachfront from field number six through field number one – the entire beachfront was underwater. You could not see any sand,” said New York State Parks spokesman George Gorman. “We asked for assistance, so the New York State Department of Transportation has provided additional pumps — as well as the New York State Office of Emergency Management.”
Gorman said they were prepared for Jose as a nor’easter. But Mother Nature brought an unexpected high tide cycle.
The pumps have been working overtime. Three feet of saltwater has inundated the games fields – basketball, miniature golf, picnic tables. The boardwalk, which was rebuilt with resiliency after being destroyed by Sandy, has now been raised so as to escape damage.
The floodwaters brought in by Jose passed under the boardwalk, leaving mounds of sand in their wake.
“In addition, the buildings in the central mall were flooded, but we raised the utilities so only we had only minimal damage, so we had power,” Gorman said.
Two Jones Beach regulars were briefly allowed in under supervision to peruse and report back to their cycling group.
“Water that got left behind here goes almost to Ocean Parkway,” said Valley stream cyclist Anthony Beamud. “So we’ve really never seen the bathhouses and the pool houses here get water right up to them, but we’re very concerned.”
Even the Jones Beach Theatre area got socked.
“Really emotional – it’s just kind of more amazement, looking at the water the way it is. You know, with the depth of it coming in and the waves and the water; the wind spraying,” said Massapequa cyclist Pete Rizzo.
The work is now left to bulldozers digging trenches and troughs.
“When we open up a trough like that, the water naturally recedes and gets sucked back out to the Atlantic Ocean,” Gorman said.
The next high tide at Jones Beach was expected at 8:30 p.m., but the protective trenches seemed to be working well. It is hoped that Jones Beach will reopen on Thursday.
In New Jersey, the National Weather Service issued coastal flood advisories and warned of rip currents on Wednesday.
Minor coastal flooding is expected during Wednesday morning’s high tide, including on local roadways. Breaking waves are expected to be four to six feet along the coast. Dangerous surf and rip currents are expected to continue for several days.
In Manasquan on Tuesday, a boat nearly lost control nearly crashing into the rocks due to strong waves coming in to the inlet.
It seems the Connecticut coast was sparred the worst of Jose.
Milford, a neighborhood of beach bungalows and quaint capes, experienced some minor street flooding.
But Mayor Ben Blake is keeping his eye on the next high tide.
“Noon on Wednesday is probably going to be the time that we’re going to be most concerned because that’s gonna be high tide and we’re preparing for that,” Blake said. “It all depends on how much fill gets into Long Island Sound and how much wind there’s going to be.”
Jose was downgraded to a tropical storm late Tuesday night as its top winds decreased to about 70 mph and is expected to weaken more over the next two days.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)