NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Florence is hundreds of miles away and weakening, but it’s still impacting the shores in our area.
Authorities told CBS2’s Clark Fouraker on Sunday that two people died in rough waters this weekend. That has prompted a warning from lifeguards.
Crews spent Sunday searching for a 17-year-old boy on Rockaway Beach. On the Jersey Shore, rescuers found the body of 44-year-old man from New Brunswick. Both deaths have been attributed to rough waters caused by Florence, which has caused historic flooding down in the Carolinas.
Beach-goers in our area have noticed the surf is pretty rough.
“Oh, it’s big. The waves are like three times normal. Two to three times. They’re big, but that’s from the hurricane,” Park Slope resident Greg Guido said.
On its Facebook page, Long Beach police have warned residents to not go in the water, saying rip currents will effect water for the next few days.
“It looks strong and it feels really strong. That’s why I didn’t go out very far. I just took a few steps out and you could feel it already starting to pull ya,” said Rockaways resident Alan Meisner.
Even with search and rescue boats out in the distance as a reminder of the rip currents caused by Florence, surfers and swimmers have not stayed away from the Rockaways, Fouraker reported.
In fact, the FDNY told CBS2’s Reena Roy three swimmers were rescued from the surf on Sunday alone, some by Good Samaritans.
“The water is the worst it’s been in 40 years of coming here,” Anthony Aymelek said of the conditions at Rockaway Beach.
With waves too powerful for most children, parents were watching closely Sunday, aware of the recovery effort underway and the rough water. Lifeguards are still on duty on the weekends in Seaside Heights. On Rockaway Beach, though, the season is over and they’ve left.
“Never on his own, absolutely not. We have my husband, myself and his uncle that’s going to be there at all times,” Williamsburg resident Nadeige Choplet said of her young son going in the water.
“Some of the more advanced veterans should be on the beach right now watching out for everybody,” lifeguard Greg Pulkouski said.
Safety experts say with fewer folks watching the beach, swimming with a friend is a must, especially with the currents from Florence.