As Gov. David A. Paterson requested federal funds Monday to rebuild after a deadly nor'easter, forecasters said the seemingly endless rain spell shattered a daily record and could make this the wettest March on record.
About 1.8 inches of rain fell in Islip Monday, breaking the March 29 record of 1.35 inches in 2003, the National Weather Service said. And with 8.04 inches already recorded in Central Park this month, the March record of 10.54 inches in 1983 is within striking distance because at least two to three inches are expected Tuesday, said meteorologist David Wally of the National Weather Service station in Upton.
"No guarantees," he said. "It will be close."
Record or no, there will be road and basement flooding and beach erosion from today's storm, the weather service predicted with a flood watch in effect for Nassau and Suffolk counties. Last night, Dune Road in Hampton Bays was closed because of high surf.
Rain will continue throughout the day with highs in the upper 40s and wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour. The rain likely will become a drizzle by tonight and Wednesday morning and make way for sunny skies and warmer temperatures the rest of the week.
A high surf advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. and the service has issued a coastal flood advisory that begins at 8 p.m.
The declaration would release money to pay for emergency response, debris removal and repairs to public property. Private property claims from toppled trees, downed power lines and flooding reached more than $45 million, officials said.