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Sleet and a few snowflakes in wake of coastal storm

Waves hit the beach as a nor'easter strikes Oyster Bay and Freeport on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Credit / Newsday/Stefanie Dazio)

The coastal storm that brought high winds and flooding to Long Island shores was headed toward the northeast, but it is leaving rain, sleet and even a few snowflakes in its wake Tuesday night, forecasters said.

However, no accumulation is expected, the weather service said. Also, no major icing is expected, as temperatures are forecast to stay just above freezing, said Jay Engle, weather service meteorologist in Upton.

Drier air is then expected to move in after midnight, with rain clearing the area by daybreak, the weather service said.

Partly to mostly sunny skies will return on Wednesday, though still with breezy conditions, according to the weather service.

As for the storm’s impact, forecasters pointed to rain and wind, and primarily coastal flooding, which “was significant, especially along the South Shore” in some communities, Engle said. He pointed to moderate to major flooding in Freeport and Lindenhurst.

With Tuesday morning’s high tide cycle came several reports to the weather service of shore-area roads that were impassable or closed because of flooding.

The storm “was not a big winter weather maker,” Engle said, “but more of a classic nor’easter with rain and wind,” bringing flooding to the immediate shore area, but no flooding inland.

In all, as of shortly before 1 p.m., Long Island MacArthur Airport had seen 0.98 of an inch of rain since the nor’easter arrived Monday.

Coastal areas that typically flood during such powerful storms did just that.

Lindenhurst Village suffered significant flooding, which was exacerbated by the high tide early Tuesday. Village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the Lindenhurst’s department of public works had to close a number of streets when driving became difficult. As the water receded in the afternoon, the roads reopened.

Several areas abutting the Great South Bay across the Town of Islip suffered “real substantial flooding” of streets, Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said midday Tuesday.

Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, town crews were continuing efforts to pump out flooded streets in waterfront communities in Bay Shore and West Islip, said Tom Owens, the town’s commissioner of public works.

Some streets closest to the bay were still inundated with water and impassible, Owens said. Workers raced to pump out the remaining waters and clear drains before the next high tide, expected Tuesday night, which would be the fourth high tide since the storm began, Owens said.

He expected the waters to recede by Wednesday to allow for normal conditions.

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer told News 12 Long Island that he heard of some coastal residents experiencing water up to their garages.

The town intended to do “a complete assessment” later Tuesday, he said.

The Babylon school district delayed the start of classes by two hours because of street flooding in neighborhoods south of Montauk Highway. School officials said the delay would not have an impact on students taking the Regents.

On the North Shore, in Bayville, which regularly suffers coastal flooding during major storms, “there was no flooding at all,” Mayor Paul Rupp said. Village officials monitored flood-prone areas all night and will continue to do so, he said.

Several miles to the west, Glen Cove’s Pryibil Beach was closed Monday afternoon and evening because of flooding, but it and other beaches — which also were closed as a precaution — were reopened this morning, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said.

Asharoken Police Chief Ray Mahdesian said Tuesday morning that “nothing significant” in terms of damage or flooding had occurred in the village.

“There was some splash-over” on Asharoken Avenue near the sea wall at the northwest end of the village’s main road, he said. “But nothing that impeded traffic.”

On the South Shore, in Massapequa Park, “we did really well,” with no reports of flooding or damage, Village Administrator Peggy Caltabiano said.

Hempstead Town officials only received reports of “minimal” storm damage overnight, spokesman Mike Deery said. Town authorities only fielded four calls for downed trees as of 7 a.m. Tuesday.

“That’s almost what we would get in a normal storm,” Deery said.

North Hempstead Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said the town fared “very well,” with no flooding or downed trees reported.

Oyster Bay Town spokesman Brian Devine said the town responded to nine downed trees caused by the storm.

Two 30-foot trees came down in East Hills, but overall the village was affected “very lightly,” said Village Attorney Bill Burton. The storm had little impact on Westbury, save for a few branches down “here and there,” said Village Clerk Ted Blach.

There was “extensive” flooding at all Long Island state park beaches, but nothing that was not typical of any nor’easter, according to George Gorman, New York State Parks’ deputy regional director for Long Island.

Gorman said the beaches experienced “minor to moderate” erosion and that all of the sand would be naturally replenished by the spring and summer.

Southampton Town reported flooding on Dune Road west of the Ponquogue Bridge and in the Long Neck Boulevard area in Flanders.

“We were definitely spared the brunt of the storm,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “It certainly was a good thing that temperatures were above freezing.”

In Long Beach, a city well-versed in the ravages that a strong storm can bring, City Manager Jack Schnirman said he was “a little bit thankful that we were spared” the worst of it.

In an interview with News 12 Long Island, Schnirman said flooding in typical hot spots around the 4:30 a.m. high tide had already receded, and that all roads were open by 8 a.m.

In eastern Suffolk, main roads were clear, but backwater streets, particularly those along canals and bays, greeted the morning with high water levels. Three municipal parking lots in downtown Riverhead remained off-limits Tuesday morning, after spending much of Monday underwater. Police cars and barricades kept drivers off a Heidi Bahr Way along the Peconic River front because of flooding.

Reported rainfall amounts include 1.92 inches in Orient; 1.64, Upton; 1.52 inches in Lynbrook; 1.42 inches in Upton; 1.37 in East Setauket; 1.34 in Floral Park; and 1.32 in Wantagh and Commack.

Peak wind gusts reported include 69 mph near Mecox Bay, and 62 mph near Napeague and Hampton Bays.

PSEG Long Island said it had restored about 24,000 customers who have experienced outages since the start of the storm early Monday.

PSEG said customer outages numbered 306 as of about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. Crews will work to restore those customers through the day, spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler said.

Outside crews of nearly 200 service workers and 100 tree trimmers are helping in the effort.

Delays were being reported at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Travelers are advised to check with their airlines about specific flight delays.

With Sarah Armaghan, Denise M. Bonilla, Jean-Paul Salamanca, Christine Chung, David Olson, Mark Harrington, Stefanie Dazio, Valerie Bauman, Lisa Irizarry and Joie Tyrrell


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