Suffolk County's Department of Health Services on Friday advised residents against bathing at 61 area beaches because of heavy rainfall and the expectation that bacteria levels will exceed state standards.
Meanwhile, in Nassau County, a shark was spotted shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday off Lido Beach Town Park. Town of Hempstead lifeguards restricted all swimming and were using a water scooter to try to locate the shark.
There were several bull shark sightings on Long Island this week, but Hempstead officials said they did not know what kind of shark was off Lido Beach on Friday.
The beaches covered by the Suffolk health advisory, including 23 in the Town of Huntington and 21 in the Town of Brookhaven, are in areas that get a lot of stormwater runoff from the surrounding watersheds or adjacent tributaries. The beaches, officials said, also don't benefit from much tidal flushing because they are in an enclosed embayment.
The Health Department recommends that bathing and other water contact be suspended at the affected beaches until the waters have been flushed by two successive tidal cycles. This advisory is expected to be lifted on Saturday at 10 a.m., unless sampling conducted by the department reveals elevated levels of bacteria, officials said.
Bayport Beach and Sayville Marine Park Beach, both in the Town of Islip, which closed Thursday due to high bacteria at levels, remains closed, officials said.
With John Asbury