East End preps for effects of Hurricane Lee; Town of East Hampton prohibits swimming

News 12 has learned patrols will be deployed through the weekend to enforce a no swimming policy.

Kevin Vesey and Caroline Flynn

Sep 15, 2023, 10:20 AM

Updated 250 days ago

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Gusty winds, dangerous surf, erosion— the effects of Hurricane Lee are all being felt at East Hampton beaches, including Main Beach and in Montauk.
For over a week, the Village of East Hampton has been preparing for Hurricane Lee by removing lifeguard stands and putting up warning signs about the dangers that can be expected with such a weather event.
“We also took all our emergency vehicles and moved them to a safer location at a neighboring beach," said Drew Smith, beach manager and head lifeguard for the Village of East Hampton.
News 12 has learned patrols are being deployed through the weekend to enforce a no swimming policy.
"People would be very foolhardy to even think of doing any surfing regardless of how nice the waves look. They'd be very foolish," said East Hampton resident Gail Parker.
Officials say it isn't just rip currents they are worried about. 
VIDEO: Latest update on the track of Hurricane Lee
“The biggest concern people don't think of with storms like this is debris in the water. We get a lot of trees and large pieces of things like boats that get swept away from somewhere else where the storm is moving from,” said Smith.
The Village of East Hampton has also closed off the beach for walking, asking Long Islanders who'd like to take pictures of the waves to do so from the cement parking lot. Their concern is for people getting too close to where waves are crashing and getting knocked over. 
In Montauk, crews constructed sand berms to hopefully keep water off the streets.
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