Erosion seen Thursday at Gilgo State Park in Babylon, after...

Erosion seen Thursday at Gilgo State Park in Babylon, after this week's storm. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

This story was reported by John Asbury, Brianne Ledda, Carl MacGowan, Yancey Roy and Joe Werkmeister. It was written by Asbury.

Long Island officials were seeking state and federal help in recovering from major erosion and flooding left behind from this week's rain and windstorm, even as they prepared for another weather system taking aim at the region.

Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke with Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine Thursday morning and dispatched a team from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to Suffolk to help assess storm damage.

The state must document at least $37 million in damage before it can apply, on Suffolk’s behalf, for a federal disaster declaration that could make available aid from a variety of federal programs, the Hochul administration said.

Thursday evening, Hochul released a letter asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which had been evaluating damage from recent storms to Fire Island, to expedite a state request for rehabilitation for three related coastline resiliency projects impacted by Tuesday's weather and previous storms.

Flooding and erosion was widespread across Long Island from the most recent storm. County and town officials were trying to bolster the coastline even as the next storm, due Friday into Saturday, is predicted to bring more coastal flooding, strong winds and heavy rain.

Romaine and Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer were planning to appeal Friday for sand replenishments at Overlook Beach from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“After touring some of Suffolk’s hardest hit communities, it is clear that everything must be done to save our storm-ravaged beaches and shorelines,” Romaine said Thursday. “An entire way of life is being threatened, and I am working with state and federal governments to find solutions.”

Many state parks were hit hard by this week's storm, even as they were recovering from the Dec. 18 storm that had already caused major erosion, said George Gorman, regional director of state parks on Long Island. 

“We used to see these types of storms every few years, and then once a year and now it seems like we’re getting these storms one after another and the intensity seems worse than we’ve ever seen,” Gorman said. “In the last two storms, the wave heights were 20 feet or more and it looked like this storm was the same.”

Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said they were clearing trees and drains Thursday and readying for the next storm. The Town of Islip declared a state of emergency that was still in effect Thursday due to flooding “close to the severity of Superstorm Sandy,” Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.

East Hampton deputy supervisor Cate Rogers said parts of the town suffered “historic” erosion. Many of the ocean-facing beaches were “inundated” by the recent storm, she said.

It was the first time water reached that high in downtown Montauk since the Army Corps of Engineers reinforced the shoreline with sand-filled geotextile bags as part of a stabilization project in 2016, Rogers said. Most of those 14,000 bags are now gone, she added.

Several oceanfront hotels in downtown Montauk along South Emerson Avenue sustained “water intrusion,” she said. A waterfront home at Ditch Plains Beach sustained significant damage, she added.

Rogers said the hotels, most of which are closed for the season, avoided significant damage, but are at risk with another storm closing in.

There was also widespread erosion along the North Shore facing Long Island Sound in Brookhaven and communities near Rocky Point, officials said.

Brookhaven Town officials said there was “massive damage” to bluffs and additional damage to drainage systems at beaches while awaiting an additional storm surge.

“We are prepositioning emergency equipment in low-lying areas in anticipation of widespread flooding from this next storm,” Brookhaven Supervisor Dan Panico said. 

Coastal areas of Southampton Town suffered additional erosion, particularly the beach and dunes on the western side of Shinnecock Inlet, according to Ryan Murphy, the town’s public safety and emergency management administrator.

Murphy compared this weekend’s incoming storm to when a municipality runs low on salt stockpiles after successive snowstorms. “It doesn’t really give a whole lot of time for any efforts to try and fortify that area, to really take hold and take shape,” he said. “It’s a problem.”

The Department of Public Works also completed a dredging project during the fall in the same location on the western side of the inlet and deposited about 80,000 cubic yards of sand in anticipation of the winter storm season, the town previously announced.

State parks throughout Long Island sustained damage and crews added sand to keep water from breaching Ocean Parkway, but high waves, at times topping 20 feet, caused additional erosion that closed Gilgo Beach, which is usually open in the winter to four-wheel-drive vehicles and surfers.

“We moved sand to ensure the water would not go onto Ocean Parkway,” Gorman said. “We are looking to place additional sand there today and tomorrow and make sure we’re protecting the roadway.”

He added: “We’re going to have to monitor how storms continue and if we’re going to see normal replenishment of sand in the spring.”

Trump back in court ... Gilgo latest ... What's Up on Long Island Credit: Newsday

Updated 10 minutes ago Bernagozzi back in court ... Schechter School sentencing ... Man saved by wallet ... $40 Citi Field sandwich

Trump back in court ... Gilgo latest ... What's Up on Long Island Credit: Newsday

Updated 10 minutes ago Bernagozzi back in court ... Schechter School sentencing ... Man saved by wallet ... $40 Citi Field sandwich

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