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Jones Beach reopens after Tropical Storm Jose flooding, official says

Jones Beach State Park — with the exception of some bathroom facilities — reopened Thursday morning after being closed for a day because of flooding from Tropical Storm Jose, a state parks official said.

George Gorman, the parks department’s Long Island deputy regional director, said the beach was closed Wednesday after Jose caused the worst flooding there since it was hit by superstorm Sandy in 2012.

But now the beach is “fully operational” with the exception of the Field 6 and Central Mall bathrooms where portable toilets have been installed to allow storm-related repair work to continue in those locations, Gorman said.

Gorman said the beach reopened at 7 a.m. Thursday after parks workers spent most of Wednesday night into early Thursday morning pumping water out of flooded areas. The Central Mall and Field 6 bathrooms remained closed to allow for a pumping station between those two sites to be examined, he said.

“The pumping station was shut down with the flooding and we have to see if there are any issues,” Gorman said. He said he did not know yet when the bathrooms would reopen. Gorman said that removing the floodwater at the pumping station has been a difficult task.

“We pumped all the critical areas, but the water was so high and the tide was coming in, so every time we tried to pump it out it would refill,” Gorman said. “This morning [Thursday] with the tide going out, they’ll work on that again; then we’ll see when we can reopen the bathrooms.”

Gorman said there are also some Jose-related “electrical issues” at the Central Mall that have to be resolved.

The only other problems at state parks after the storm are moderate beach erosion at Robert Moses State Park in Babylon and at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, Gorman said.

Some really good news for swimmers is that some lifeguards, whose jobs at the state parks ended last weekend, are being brought back at two areas of Jones Beach, in Wantagh, two areas of Robert Moses State Park, at Hither Hills State Park and at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park for the next four days, beginning Thursday, when beach weather is expected to make a short comeback.

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