Smaller, Yet Eager, Crowds Storm Beaches for Labor Day

It's going to be a beautiful Labor Day weekend

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Hurricane Earl blew through with only a whisper -- leaving behind a wide open beach for sun worshippers for a beautiful Labor Day weekend.

One Long Island resident thanked Earl for keeping the crowds clear this weekend.

"It's nice and quiet and hopefully the wind and the rough surf will keep people away," said Marc Merber of Lynbrook.

The water was definitely rough and swimming was still banned, but crowds returned to the area Sunday once the rip tides died down. Still, Labor Day revelers should proceed with caution.

"I think we’re going to be all right to swim," Long Beach Lifeguard Chief Paul Gillespie told NBCNewYork. "I think we’re still going to have surf; it will be restricted swimming."

Some surfers braved the water, keeping in mind the risks of their undertaking. As long as you're aware of and experienced in your surroundings, you'll be alright, said Brooklyn's Dave Stockwell.

"Don't try to fight the current, just come back when it seems more opportune," cautioned Stockwell, who lives in Park Slope. "Swim, side, shore -- all those basic rules hold for surfers too."

Overall, New Yorkers' Labor Day weekend plans are back on, which comes as a huge relief to many people, especially one couple planning a big wedding with attendees who traveled from across the country to make their big day.

"We have a lot of family in from out of town," said Brian de Montreux, who lives on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Apart from one canceled Florida flight, everyone made it into town as scheduled. Talk about a sigh of relief.

"Thank God. Hurricane Earl has passed," de Montreux said. "Peace out Earl."

Although Earl didn't wreak nearly as much havoc as many had feared, he left behind some strong winds, which disappointed some beach-goers.

"When you go over there on the sand near the ocean, the sand blows on to you and it feels kinda like needles and it hurts," lamented Arianna Alamo, of Rockville Centre, Long Island. "Not so good ... time to go."

The winds and high surfs did not deter everyone, however from enjoying one of the last likely beautiful beach weekends before the end of the summer.

"I haven’t been to the beach all summer so ... better late than never," said Marie Arlette, who came all the way from Newark, N.J., to bask in the sun's rays.

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