Officials prep for severe weekend weather from Tropical Storm Ophelia
Preparations are underway across Long Island as Tropical Storm Ophelia is bringing the threat of gusty winds, flooding and beach erosion this weekend.
New York State Parks officials say hurricanes Lee and Franklin already dumped a lot of water on the sand, which could cause more issues at beaches.
At Jones Beach, where some events are planned for the weekend, NYS Parks Regional Director George Gorman says they’re most concerned about the threat of more flooding.
"It hasn't drained, and the water table is higher now so it's more difficult to drain. So that's going to take us a few weeks,” he said. “We are concerned that even more water is going to come on top of the flooding and then we have additional flooding. So, we're very concerned."
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin says their biggest concerns are the threats from wind damage and water drainage.
"We already have our tree-trimming crews preparing. We're gassing up all of our machinery. This week, we've spent time on the South Shore clearing out storm drains,” said Clavin. “That's one issue that always happens. When storm drains clog up, you have flooding."
For Patchogue, this weekend will be a test for new flood mitigation infrastructure.
The village completed a $4 million renovation to Shorefront Park, complete with what Mayor Paul Pontieri refers to as a living shoreline to allow the water to recede more easily.
"This change in our shoreline and this rebuild will mitigate that,” he said. “Then you're always concerned about these things when it comes to your drainage. And it's storms like this you can prepare for."
With the threat of downed trees and flooding, Pontieri suggests everyone be extra cautious when traveling this weekend.
"Just understand what's happening around you. Take a look out the window. Don't go out if it's not safe,” said Pontieri.
High tide Saturday will be in the early morning and in the early evening. Be extra cautious when leaving the house Saturday.