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Long IslandNassau

Some LI flooding expected with heavy rains

Denise Holady of Northport uses an umbrella to

Denise Holady of Northport uses an umbrella to stay dry from the rain in the parking lot of Walmart in Centereach. (April 22, 2011) Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara

It was a dark and stormy night -- and just what Long Island needed.

Heavy rain across Long Island Sunday caused scattered power outages and accidents but was expected by weather forecasters to help relieve the region's severe drought.

A coastal storm moved into the area Sunday night, bringing the heavy rain and strong winds, said David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.

Heavy showers were expected to continue though early this morning, Stark said.

The region was expected to receive up to 3 1/2 inches of rain from the storm, Stark said.

Wind gusts reaching 35 mph to 40 mph were to accompany the overnight showers. The winds were forecast to recede this morning, then pick up again in the afternoon, with gusts of 30 mph to 35 mph predicted, he said.

Throughout the day Sunday, wind and rain knocked out power to 3,654 Long Island Power Authority customers, LIPA spokesman Scott Garber said. By 9 p.m., power had been restored to all but 473 customers.

"Typically these [outages] are from branches making contact with our wires," he said.

A flood watch was issued through Monday morning, Stark said, but the areas most likely to flood will be localized -- mostly streets with poor drainage.

"There will be no widespread flooding from this," Stark said.

Today's temperatures will reach the lower 60s, dropping to the lower 40s Monday night. Tuesday is forecast to be mostly cloudy, with some sun in the afternoon, while Wednesday will be mostly clear. Temperatures are slated to be in the upper 50s on those days.

The rain will serve to reduce some of the severe drought conditions the Island has experienced. On April 12, the U.S. Drought Monitor placed Long Island in the severe drought category, with 4 to 6 inches below normal rainfall for this time of year.

Two major wildfires ravaged more than 1,200 acres in the pine barrens region near Manorville in a two-week span.

With Nicholas Spangler

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