Clear 40° Good Afternoon
Clear 40° Good Afternoon
Long IslandNassau

Surf's up in Montauk; Robert Moses underwater

Waves as high as 15 feet broke just

Waves as high as 15 feet broke just west of the Montauk Lighthouse Sunday morning. Photo Credit: Doug Kuntz

The effects of Hurricane Bill left Long Island's beaches soggy and flooded, although some that were closed are reopening today.

---PHOTOS: Surfers tear up massive waves in Long Beach, Montauk, Gilgo

The Robert Moses State Park beach remains closed and underwater, said state parks spokesman George Gorman, Jr. Much of Jones Beach also is flooded, Gorman said, including the Pitch and Putt Course and many of the parking lots. Signs along the roadway leading to Jones Beach said "No swimming at ocean beaches."

But the beaches are expected to open later today, except for Jones Beach Field Six.

Gorman said the flooding hasn't been this severe since 1985's Hurricane Gloria.

In Montauk, about 2,000 surfers hit the beach as waves reached peaks not seen in 17 years, Gorman said.

Nassau County beaches have reopened this morning, after being closed due to bacteria concerns.

All beaches in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens remain closed today.

Hurricane Bill's maximum sustained winds were near 85 mph last night. Earlier in the day, the storm closed beaches on the South Shore and in New York City, a disappointment on one of a wet summer's few remaining weekends.

Uninformed or highly determined beachgoers found a variety of frustrations yesterday. Cones blocked a bridge to Robert Moses, while a police officer turned back drivers trying to reach Gilgo Beach. "Do Not Enter" signs blocked entrances and exits to Jones Beach parking lots.

"I wouldn't say it's horrible, but it's definitely hurricane surf," said longtime lifeguard Paul Johnson, 26. "We usually get 3- to 4-foot waves, but these are 8 feet."

Yesterday morning, lifeguards waded in water that reached far past the high-tide line to within about 20 feet of a pavilion. "We had to pull up the shed because we were afraid it would float away," Johnson said.

Boardwalk regulars Theresa and Doug Dornbier of Massapequa braved sticky heat to take their normal four-mile constitutional in solitude. "We always people-watch, but I enjoy having the boardwalk to myself today," said Theresa Dornbier, 58.

Coincidental to the hurricane, a front moving toward the region from the west could bring rain this afternoon and tonight.

"We really won't get into drier air until Hurricane Bill is well northeast of the area" today, Conte said.

- With Andrew Strickler, Ann Givens, Bill Bleyer and Arielle Brechisci

---PHOTOS: Surfers tear up massive waves in Long Beach, Montauk, Gilgo

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