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Danny now a Tropical Depression

Beaches are preparing for the possible arrival of

Beaches are preparing for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Danny this weekend. Credit: Getty Images

Tropical Storm Danny was downgraded to a Depression and will skirt Long Island Saturday afternoon, leaving heavy rain, severe beach erosion and rip currents as its calling card.

At its closest, the edge of the storm should be more than 65 miles east-southeast of Montauk Point about 4 p.m. Saturday.

"The biggest impact will be heavy rainfall," National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Wichrowski said. "Some spots [on the East End] could see four inches of rain but it's not [all] directly related to Danny." Rain falling across Long Island Friday morning was largely due to a storm over the Gulf Coast, he explained.

With the downpour continuing through Saturday, street and coastal flooding is a possibility.

"We'll be on the west side of the storm so the winds will be a lot less" than the eastern side of the storm that should impact Cape Cod, where tropical storm warnings have already been posted, National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Wichrowski said. The East End could see winds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts up to 40.

Because of those winds, beach erosion along the South Shore and East End is expected to be more severe than that from Hurricane Bill. Again there will be significant rip currents that could pose a danger for swimmers.

The storm's approach had boaters concerned for their craft. "Everyone is checking and securing their boats," said T.J. Jordan, manager of Gone Fishing Marina in Montauk. "But it doesn't look like we're going to get it that bad."

Surfers say they'll be back out there, despite the rain, even though waves from Danny are forecast to be 6 to 8 feet, about half as high as those from Bill.

Ronald Foley, regional director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the winds from the east this time are likely to hit oceanfront beaches harder than Bill. "We really didn't have much wind with the last storm."

"Rip currents are expected to be an issue," Foley added, so officials and lifeguards will be watching and prohibit swimming where necessary.

All Fire Island National Seashore ocean beaches will be closed Saturday and Sunday, and Brookhaven Town also closed Davis Park Beach Saturday because of possible riptides.

Separately, Suffolk's health department advised against swimming Saturday at beaches along Great South Bay's north shore, in Sag Harbor and North Shore harbors from Cold Spring Harbor to Port Jefferson due to pollution risk from runoff.

At local surf shops, the consensus was Danny wouldn't be the boon Bill was. Ray Slapp, owner of Therapy in Shirley, said the surf is "not going to be anything near what we had last weekend - that was near perfect."

Charlie Bunger at Bunger Surf Shop in Babylon said "Sunday may be better because the storm will have passed by." But Danny will also come too close to Long Island, creating localized winds and choppy surf.

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