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Some coastal flooding expected from snowstorm

Some coastal flooding from Thursday's storm is a concern for both Long Island's South and North shores, weather and coastal erosion experts said.

"We're looking for widespread minor flooding, with localized, moderate flooding possible along the south-facing Atlantic beaches and back bays," said meteorologist Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service in Upton.

Minor flooding of roads and home basements in shoreline communities along Long Island Sound, such as Bayville and Asharoken, also is a possibility, Pollina said. The winds from the northeast were pushing large waves ashore in those areas.

High tides are expected to be 11/2 to 2 feet above average because of a new moon that occurred on Wednesday, Pollina said.

On South Fourth Street in Lindenhurst, homeowner Rhonda Verrier kept a wary eye on water lapping into the backyard through her still-damaged bulkhead on the Great South Bay. The first floor of her home was flooded by Sandy's storm surge on Oct. 29, 2012.

"I'm very nervous about this storm. We haven't put any sandbags up," she said. "I'm just praying that we're going to be OK."

Verrier, who lives with her husband, Remi, in the former bungalow that they enlarged and built into a year-round home in 1977, said, "I guess when everybody else was out getting milk and bread, Remi and I were out getting kerosene and kerosene heaters and gas for the generator. Just in case, we want to be prepared."

High tide for the area was to be just before 11 p.m.

Jay Tanski, senior coastal processes specialist for the New York State Sea Grant Extension Program, said waves were running 8 to 9 feet on the South Shore and were expected to hit 13 feet overnight offshore.

"It's not the worst we've seen," he said. "I think it's going to be worse for eastern-facing shorelines, because the wind is out of the east-northeast and the waves will be coming out of the east."

He said the biggest problems could be for communities including Bayville and Asharoken, and some on Little Peconic Bay and Great Peconic Bay.

"But it's not a Sandy storm by any means," Tanski said. "We're not going to see the storm surge nearly as high or the waves as big as we saw during Sandy, which got up to 32 feet offshore."

Some residents who live along the South Shore were keeping an eye on weather updates, but weren't overly concerned.

Others on South Fourth in Lindenhurst said they weren't worried about Thursday night's tide. Most homes there suffered damage from Sandy, and water is in the street regularly at high tides.

"I don't think it's going to be that bad," said Tom Lombardo, whose home underwent extensive repairs over the past year. "Water will come up on the street, but there won't be physical damage to the house."

Elsewhere on the block, neighbors Jacqueline Salvia and Alex Fokine both said they hadn't anticipated trouble and didn't take special precautions.

"I think it's probably not going to be too bad," said Salvia, who was out shopping at the mall with her daughter during the day.

In Bay Park, Vanessa Lindsay and her boyfriend still are living in a rented trailer parked on the front lawn of their Sandy-damaged home, which must be elevated to meet more stringent building codes.

As she awaited predicted blizzard-like conditions and the evening's high tide, Lindsay said, "I don't anticipate we're going to have a problem. If we do see a problem, we have a 4 X 4 and we'd get out of there."

Beth Rinaudo and her family repaired and moved back into their Sandy-damaged home in the Biltmore Shores neighborhood of Massapequa in March after living in a trailer for several months. The house took on about 11/2 to 2 feet of floodwaters from Sandy.

These days, Rinaudo said she keeps up with weather alerts.

"It's part of my morning routine," she said. She even gets weather alerts from her flood insurer.

She noted that Sandy's devastation was unusual. So, even with alerts about Thursday night's high tide, Rinaudo said, "I saw it, but I didn't get concerned. It was really that strong surge from Sandy" that was a game-changer for residents like her.

Diana Price, who also lives in Biltmore Shores, said she was staying in her home, which Sandy damaged with 2 feet of floodwater but since has been repaired.

"Even when we have high tides or coastal flooding, we usually do not get anything here," she said.

"Sandy was unusual," Price said, "but it's something we're keeping an eye on."

With Carol Polsky

and Olivia Winslow

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