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Hurricane Dorian to cause high surf, rip currents on LI

People visit the beach in Montauk on Saturday

People visit the beach in Montauk on Saturday as forecasters say the effects from Hurricane Dorian could churn up high surf conditions off the coastline. Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

The coast is mostly clear, meteorologists said, predicting Long Island beachgoers on Sunday might see the final lingering effects from Hurricane Dorian.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a moderate risk for rip currents Sunday.

"Big picture, we were pretty fortunate. Dorian is all the way in Nova Scotia now,” said meteorologist Melissa Dispigna. People on the beach Sunday should heed the advice of the lifeguards if they plan to take a dip in the ocean, she said Saturday afternoon.

Though Dorian brought rain and rougher seas to Long Island over the past few days, Sunday and Monday are expected to be pleasant. Forecasts call for mostly sunny skies. The high on Sunday could reach the high 70s, and the high on Monday is expected to be in the low 70s, forecasters said.

On Saturday, impacts from Hurricane Dorian were more evident as it churned up rougher waters on the coastline.

A high-surf advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday for southern Nassau and Suffolk counties, the National Weather Service said. A high rip current warning was also in effect through Saturday night.

 Southern Nassau County was under a coastal flood advisory from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Dispigna said she had not heard reports of flooding or downed trees Saturday.

“The looming impact this afternoon is in the waters and there’s a very real high chance for rip currents,” meteorologist Dave Radell said. “There’s a chance for some coastal flooding, but not a big impact. We’re watching the high tides this afternoon.” 

In Suffolk, the surf could reach 8 to 12 feet across eastern beaches, resulting in significant beach flooding and erosion, the weather service said. High surf could peak at 6 to 10 feet in Nassau before subsiding Saturday afternoon.

Forecasters said dangerous rip currents pose a risk to anyone swimming or surfing in the ocean.  

 But for beachgoers Saturday at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, the weather was excellent: Hundreds of people enjoyed the sunny 70 degree day, while dozens of others took to the churning ocean for swimming, surfing or kayaking. 

Kevin Brennan, 50, of East Quogue, and his son Miller Brennan, 14, had just finished surfing and called the conditions perfect. 

While the two like to surf often from the summer to winter, Kevin Brennan said they decided not to brave Friday's waters due to the messier conditions. “You get moved around a lot more in that weather, so it’d be a waste of time,” Kevin Brennan said.

However, he rated Saturday's surf a 7 out of 10. “It was beautiful today, the weather was warm and the water was warm. For Long Island, this is pretty good surfing weather.”

The coastal flood advisory warned of about 1 to 2 feet of shallow flooding in low-lying areas in roads, parks, the waterfront or basements vulnerable to flooding. In Southampton, some light flooding appeared along Dune Road at midday Saturday, eastward toward several beaches.

Dorian already brought some wind gusts and rain to Long Island on Friday, but the eye of the storm had moved well to the southeast, Radell said. 

By 5 p.m. Saturday, Dorian had become a hurricane force post-tropical cyclone with 100 mph maximum sustained winds, about 50 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was continuing to move northeast at 30 mph.

Most of Long Island saw up to a quarter- or half-inch of rain Friday, with up to an inch on the East End and Montauk, Radell said.

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