This story was reported by David M. Schwartz, Scott Eidler, Laura Blasey, John Asbury, Mark Harrington, Nicholas Spangler and Ellen Yan. It was written by Zachary R. Dowdy.
Meteorologists forecast a progressively weaker Hermine that may bring showers and — for eastern Long Island — strong winds, before giving way to sunny skies and near-90-degree temperatures by week’s end.
“The storm will start to weaken as we get to the second half of tomorrow, so coastal flooding and high winds out east will also subside late tomorrow afternoon and night,” Jay Engle of the National Weather Service in Upton said Monday.
“On Wednesday, there will still be clouds lingering as Hermine, or what’s left of it, is located to our southeast, and a chance of showers,” he added.
A tropical storm warning, dropped for Nassau and New York City, remained in effect for Suffolk.
In its 11 p.m. briefing, the National Hurricane Center said, “Hermine is expected to become nearly stationary on Tuesday before turning toward the northeast on Wednesday.”
Maximum sustained winds of the storm had decreased to near 65 mph with higher gusts and “Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours,” the center said.
And the much-anticipated winds from Hermine had finally arrived, albeit lighter than expected. Still, the Montauk Point buoy had reported a 43 mph sustained wind and a gust to 54 mph, the center said.
Earlier, the National Weather Service in Upton said wind gusts were clocked at up to 50 mph coming off the Long Island Sound in Baiting Hollow and Wading River.
Engle said eastern Suffolk could still experience some coastal flooding overnight Monday as high tides come in.
But generally, forecasters said, the storm that was once a deadly hurricane has lapsed into a slow, sluggish northern trek. It was about 120 miles off Long Island Monday night, still churning the waters but heading out without doing much damage.
In fact, Thursday and Friday look bright and sunny, forecasters said, with temperatures in the high 80s and even 90s by Saturday.
The rosy prediction came as Long Island officials continued to ease the region out of crisis mode.
“We dodged a bullet, that’s for sure,” said Ray Fais, emergency manager for the Village of Lindenhurst.
In all, Hermine, now classified as a post-tropical cyclone, spared Long Island from serious coastal flooding and high winds — even at high tide, when forecasters predicted the worst.
Suffolk County officials heaved a sigh of relief as they lifted voluntary Fire Island evacuation calls after Hermine changed course Monday.
Fais, emergency manager for the Village of Lindenhurst, said he expected Hermine to be the first real test of the backstop devices the village installed in the storm drain system about a year ago in some of the most flood-prone roads. They’re intended to stop the ocean water from coming in and up through the storm drains during heavy rains or high tides.
But as Fais drove down street after street during high tide, almost all the roads, even the ones that typically flood in big rains, were dry. Hermine was no test of the new system, he said.
On Long Beach, officials said the waterfront community is all but out of the proverbial woods, but there had been some beach erosion and currents remained a danger.
“On the ocean side, rip currents remain extremely dangerous,” read an announcement from the city, noting the tropical storm warning had been lifted while the coastal flooding advisory remained in force.
Where possible, officials tried to get things back to normal and close out the last unofficial weekend of the summer season.
New York State parks officials reopened Sunken Meadow State Park beaches on the North Shore to swimming at 10 a.m. Monday, but state-operated ocean beaches along Long Island’s South Shore — Jones Beach, Robert Moses State Park and Hither Hills State Park near Montauk — will remain closed due to rough surf.
Swimming at Heckscher State Park along the Great South Bay in Great River was open, but Wildwood State Park on the North Shore was closed to swimmers.
Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services officials reported that call volume to 911 Sunday evening and overnight into Monday was very low.
But the storm forced the early exit of those who flocked to the Hamptons for Labor Day weekend.
Coopers Beach in Southampton Village was virtually abandoned at 9 a.m. Monday, an unheard-of phenomenon at the popular Hamptons beach at summer’s end.
Steady winds and an unrelenting surf had washed over much of the beach, flooding the volleyball area and reaching the primary dune. A gaggle of lifeguards remained off the beach under the covered beach house. Beachgoers in hoodies and light coats spent time taking photos, the beach only partly accessible.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he spent 2 1⁄2 hours Sunday through early Monday driving more than 50 miles through his town, surveying for damage and flooding but finding very little that was out of the ordinary.
He said, “It was the storm that wasn’t.”