LIDO BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Isaias regained hurricane strength Monday night as some of its effects impacted the Tri-State Area.
Long Island officials expressed some cautious optimism when looking at the tracking of the storm, but are still urging folks to take the time now to prepare as we do with every storm of this kind.
It’s expected to bring high winds and tides that could flood not only the beach, but also low lying residential neighborhoods.
Police choppers were still on patrol for sharks, but now there’s another danger below: Fierce rip currents, signaling the approach of Isaias.
The worst of it is expected Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning, prompting officials to warn South Shore residents to batten down the hatches.
“This is not our first rodeo. We know what to do and what to expect,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Places that do get flooding in a storm normally, if you know youre in a vulnerable spot, you may want to think about moving your car.”
TRACKING ISAIAS: Check the latest forecast and weather alerts
Beaches across the South Shore – from Long Beach to the East End – are being prepped with walls of sand. Lifeguard equipment is being moved to higher ground at Jones Beach – a haven during the pandemic. Officials do not want to see facilities damaged in any way.
“Vulnerable areas like Robert Moses and Gilgo State Beach – very concerned with those locations. We have built up sand… and here at Jones Beach, as a precaution, we’ve put a wall of sand in front the boardwalk,” said George Gorman, Long Island regional director for New York State Parks.
For now, it’s a four foot wall of sand. If the forecast worsens it will be built to eight feet. High tides will be amplified by a full moon, 2-3 feet above normal overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
“The high tide is expected to come in around 9-11 o’clock tomorrow. National Weather Service is grateful we will only be dealing with this for one high tide cycle,” said Steve Morelli of the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management. “When everyone is in bed is when the brunt of it should occur.”
Boater Jason Lieberman is one of many moving to safe harbor and is taking no chances.
“I was here for Sandy and I do not want that to happen again. I don’t think it will be that bad, but you gotta be careful,” he said.
To keep water from backing up into streets, storm drains were cleaned by Public Works crews across the island, and officials say you prepare too: Tie up loose outdoor items, and remember if there comes to be a need for evacuations in any storm this hurricane season, it will not be business as usual.
“It’s the situation we are in that’s different, in the middle of a global pandemic, a public health crisis,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Curran said Isaias looks like a storm Long Island can handle, and they will be closely monitoring for any change in the forecast.