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150 rescued from floodwaters at Sayville wedding

Firefighters help guests leave the wedding reception Friday

Firefighters help guests leave the wedding reception Friday night.   Credit: Stringer News Service

A wedding became even more memorable for about 150 people late Friday night when they had to be rescued after the Great South Bay flooded parking lots at a waterfront restaurant in Sayville. 

The evacuation took place near Land's End restaurant and catering hall, 80 Browns River Rd. 

Video shows people descending from a high-axle rescue truck; two women in sparkling evening gowns carrying white flower arrangements are seen walking along the sidewalk.

“This is the first time for this,” said Dan Karl, Sayville Fire Department second assistant chief, in the video interview provided by Stringer News Service. “We have had incidents of road flooding — not when a wedding was going on; it’s really unique.”

The first alert came at around 10:15 p.m. from someone reporting a car horn repeatedly blowing by Browns River Road, a Suffolk police spokeswoman said. “Someone was trying to self-evacuate in a car,” Karl said.

Once rescuers freed them, he said, he and his crew realized floodwaters also were blocking a sizable wedding party from their cars. 

The event was expected to end at 11 p.m. — five minutes after high tide — and guests’ cars had been parked a distance from the water. But buses that were hired to chauffeur guests to their cars couldn't do so once the floodwaters rose to about 3 feet, Karl said.

The video shows one black sedan, its lights on, apparently stuck in the flood.

The West Sayville Fire Department brought in a brush truck, and the Sayville Fire Department used their high-water rescue truck to bring the flood-trapped to safety. No injuries were reported.

“Safe and sound,” exclaims one of the people upon returning to high ground. 

“We survived,” says another, smiling.

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