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Official: Rising floodwaters force evacuation of Amityville yacht club

The Amityville Fire Department was called to the

The Amityville Fire Department was called to the Unqua Corinthian Yacht Club on Unqua Place on Saturday night, March 3, 2018, with nearly 100 people evacuated amid flooding in the area. Credit: Paul Mazza

Nearly 100 people, including more than 50 at a Sweet 16 party, were evacuated from an Amityville yacht club Saturday night after parents told authorities high floodwaters were preventing them from picking up their children, a fire official said.

There were no injuries.

Amityville Fire Department Third Asst. Chief Gavin Budde said the calls from parents began about 11:30 p.m. Saturday after the waters from the bay near the Unqua Corinthian Yacht Club on Unqua Place had caused 3 feet of flooding near the building.

“A lot of parents who had come to pick up their kids . . . were met with high water about two blocks before they got to the yacht club,” Budde said, adding that attendees of the Sweet 16 party were concerned they couldn’t get out of the building.

Budde said ambulances that responded helped keep the partygoers warm.

“They were met with 3 feet of water and it was a chilly night on the bay,” Budde said of the group. “They were in their finest Sweet Sixteen attire that’s not necessarily weather appropriate.”

Workers at the yacht club were also stranded, Budde said, bringing the total number of those rescued to 90.

High water trucks from Massapequa, Copiague and Lindenhurst were used during the evacuation, Budde said. He described them as military vehicles fabricated with steps to fold down over high water.

“It’s like loading in troops,” Budde said. “They’re very high trucks capable of going in deep water conditions.” He said that after superstorm Sandy the trucks were obtained by some municipalities.

Budde said an area was also set up at Bourdette and Ocean avenues about a quarter-mile from the yacht club, where those rescued could reunite with their families or be taken home.

After the rescue, the yacht club was ordered closed because of the flooding, Budde said. “The staff didn’t want to leave but the club had to close until the water receded.”

Budde said a resident of Unqua Place also asked to be evacuated — not because water had flooded her home but in anticipation of possible flooding and her getting stranded there.

Also on Saturday about 11:20 p.m., firefighters responded to the LakeHouse restaurant on Maple Avenue in Bay Shore as dozens of restaurant-goers were stuck inside as floodwaters rose outside the establishment, authorities said.

With Nicole Fuller

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