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Long Island

Long Island coastal areas weather snow with only minor problems

A man stands on the remains of a

A man stands on the remains of a berm in Montauk Sunday. Nassau and Suffolk officials said the weekend storm caused only minor flooding to the area's coastal communities. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Despite a powerful nor’easter that dropped more than 20 inches of snow across Long Island, coastal areas fared well, though minor flooding occurred in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Waves washed over a small area near Robbins Rest on Fire Island and officials said it would take a few days to see if the flooding compromised an ongoing dune restoration project on the barrier island from Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet.

Suffolk County spokesman Justin Meyers said the county had very few reports of flooding — a major concern because of a full moon and high tides.

“By and large, when you looked at what was being forecasted and what occurred, we really dodged a bullet,” Meyers said.

The strong winds pushed water away from the South Shore for much of the storm, he said.

While many worried Saturday’s high tide would be the worst, water came in with Sunday morning’s as well, flooding parts of Lindenhurst, Freeport and Islip.

“The wind stopped so the water could come up,” said Lindenhurst resident Michele Insinga, executive director of the disaster relief group Adopt a House. “We kind of knew it would happen this morning.”

Water flooded streets like South Eighth Street in Lindenhurst and topped bulkheads, an occurrence happening more frequently since 2012’s superstorm Sandy.

“Every one of these tides since Sandy has been higher and higher and higher,” said Frank Kluges.

The water reached the first step of Kluges’ raised home on Bayview Avenue East in Lindenhurst. “I think the federal government ought to start treating Long Island like it’s New Orleans,” he said.

Some residents complained of flooding from clogged or backed-up storm drains, creating slushy roadways.

“The water starts to back up out of the drain,” Lindenhurst resident Joe Sarli said. “Anyone who has a drain out in front of their house, it’s like a little fountain.”

The water covered his driveway and a part of his side yard, said Sarli, who hopes to raise his home in March or April because it flooded during Sandy. “It just doesn’t end.”

Ben Jackson, who owns Ben’s General Contracting Co., a block from the Nautical Mile in Freeport, said he cleaned out drains to help the water go down. It came in fast Sunday, but then receded.

“The water was coming in pretty heavily this morning,” Jackson said. “My parking lot still has a flood in it.”

He plans to pump out the water Monday.

“It’s quite scary,” Jackson said. “It never used to bother me until Sandy. You see the water coming in and it doesn’t go out.”

Long Beach also had some flooding, but the focus was on digging out and not mopping up water, said City Manager Jack Schnirman.

“It wasn’t as bad as the rain event we had two weeks ago,” Schnirman said. “I think we’re really relieved.”

Minor flooding was also reported in Bay Shore, Bayville, Inwood, Mastic Beach, Ocean Beach and Port Washington. The sea wall in Asharoken was overwashed, but the rest of the village faired well, said Aram Terchunian, a coastal geologist with First Coastal Corp.

Insinga said basic improvements like evacuation route signs and designated parking areas for low-lying areas have not happened, but are easy upgrades that could help a community. “I feel like a lot needs to be done and no one is taking it seriously.”

“What’s going to happen with another nor’easter or a hurricane?” she said. “[Flooding] is happening more frequently. It is happening higher. It is going further and it is lasting longer.”

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