A nor'easter that combined with a full-moon high tide drenched Long Island in some of the worst coastal flooding since superstorm Sandy, shutting down sections of main roads and forcing some residents to flee their homes, authorities said.
Floodwaters in Fire Island's Ocean Beach topped 2 feet, making roads impassable and stores soggy in this summer community of fewer than 100 off-season residents.
"It's over 13 inches outside my door," said Debbie Goldsmith, whose home sits in the middle of the island. "The puddles, they are like lakes."
Ocean Beach fire chief Ian Levine said it was probably the worst flooding since Sandy in 2012. "It was over my knees, it was almost up to my waist in certain spots," he said.
Other places hard hit by Sandy got the brunt of Tuesday's storm, with flooding almost meeting moderate benchmarks in Freeport, Long Beach and Lindenhurst, said meteorologist Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service in Upton.
Rising tides prompted Lindenhurst residents to go to higher ground with their cars.
"This morning there was nothing in the driveway in front of my house, and then within five minutes, it was up over the end of South Fourth Street up past a neighbor to the north," said Rhonda Verrier, who lives on the street. "We had to quick get out of the house."
By about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, 3 inches of rain had fallen in Plainview, New Hyde Park and other spots, meteorologists said, but a record for the day, 2.05 inches, was set at Long Island MacArthur Airport, breaking the old one of 1.74 in 2009.
Daytime wind gusts of 49 mph were reported in Eatons Neck, weather data showed.
The Northern State Parkway in Jericho was impassable Tuesday and closed off by Route 106/107 for seven hours, until about 6 p.m.
On the north side of Long Beach, the Reynolds Channel rose to some of the highest levels seen since Sandy, swollen by the storm surge, high winds and a full-moon high tide, said Long Beach spokesman Gordon Tepper. Many roads by the canals flooded, he said.
City crews checked storm drain covers all day to ensure they were clear of debris and were expected to continue checking into the night, he said.
The "saving grace" for state parks was that winds from the east were not long-lasting, said Wayne Horsley, Long Island regional director of state parks.
At Jones Beach, the Feliz Navidad display, a section of the Holiday Lights Spectacular, was blown over, he said.
Horsley also said the storm scoured out a 6- to 7-foot drop-off on the beach at Field 5 at Robert Moses State Park, considered "severe erosion."
The weather also caused delays of up to four hours at local airports.
Light rain, the system's remnants, will remain Wednesday, meteorologists said.
With Carol Polsky, Joan Gralla and Gary Dymski