Bay Shore restaurant braces for another storm that could bring flooding
Flooding in Bay Shore led to several waterfront businesses closing their doors already this week. Another storm in the forecast has them stressed it could happen once again.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, being on the water is a blessing. It's the 1% that now feels like 3 or 4% of the time that it's a nightmare," explained Matt Connors, co-owner of LakeHouse restaurant.
Connors says that storms with the risk of flooding have led to tough conversations for the team. Closing the restaurant means losing 300 tables' worth of business and employees not making money. Opening can be a safety risk.
"In a particularly fast-moving storm on a Saturday night, we had 120 people in the restaurant. Unfortunately, we had to call the fire department to take out as many people who wanted to leave. They had the option to wait it out till the tide receded," explained Connors.
Being at the location for a decade has allowed them to prepare better for inclement weather. Co-owners watch the tide and check the time of day a storm will likely hit, then monitor the bookings for events so that situations that lead to rescues can be kept in the rear-view mirror.
He added, "Obviously we want to open, we want to do business, that's why we are here. But we don't want to put people's safety in jeopardy."
Maple Avenue neighbors have noticed the frequency of flooding increase over the years and continue to prepare accordingly. In the offseason, that means making changes to their homes to keep damage minimal.
Bay Shore resident Bob Viniotis said, “Flooding doesn't happen every storm. This one, I was surprised and the one in December I was surprised. I haven't seen it this bad since Sandy."
Is there anything that could stop Mother Nature? A member of the Suffolk County Legislature, Steve Flotteron, says yes. Reporting damage could lead to federal aid that may help repair infrastructure and homes.