Rough surf, rip currents lead to swimming bans at state park beaches
The holiday weekend is ahead, and the weather seems great, but high surf and conditions and rip current risk could make decisions about swimming over the next few days difficult.
The dangerous water conditions are being caused by Hurricane Franklin.
VIDEO: Jones Beach red flag warning
All state park beaches restricted swimming on Thursday, while Long Beach permitted swimmers waist-deep in the water.
VIDEO: Chopper 12 over Jones Beach
Town of Babylon beaches had no restrictions.
The rip currents and rough surf caused flooding to many shorelines from Long Beach to Montauk on Wednesday.
VIDEO: Water flowing back into the ocean at Jones Beach
VIDEO: WEATHER FORECAST
New York State Parks Regional Director George Gorman told News 12 in an interview Thursday morning that they were keeping a close eye on conditions throughout the day.
"Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water has receded back into the ocean,” said Gorman. “We're going to have plenty of sand now for the beachgoers and we are monitoring the conditions of the surf."
Flooding along Jones Beach and unsafe surf put a damper on early Labor Day Weekend plans, including for Patty Parmeter from Oklahoma. She had two main items on her to-do list while visiting family here.
"See the Statue of Liberty is my big thing,” she said. “But then, coming to the beach. Of course, we wanted to go down to the beach, put our feet in the water, and you have to go through water to get to the beach. So, we didn't do that."
Jones Beach supervising lifeguard Cary Epstein said conditions improved as the day went on after trenches were dug to release water trapped on the beach.
"We've come a really long way from this morning,” he said.
Rough Beaches And Labor Day Forecast
With the cleanup underway, the focus was on preparing the beach for Labor Day weekend crowds.
"We're preparing the beach now. We're draining the beach. We're making sure that the conditions are safe as it could possibly be for a normal, regular beach day for this Labor Day weekend,” said Epstein.
With more favorable conditions expected Labor Day weekend, Parmeter says she's just excited to come back and spend more time meeting family.