New York

Fears of More Flooding on Long Island as Nor'easter Threatens Fierce Lash of Snow and Winds

What to Know

  • The nor'easter is expected to bring snow, flooding, coastal erosion and strong winds to Long Island
  • Suffolk County may get hit especially hard as wind gusts reach up to 60 mph amid snow and sleet
  • If the nor'easter moves closer to land, the risks of flooding and erosion increase

Regardless of the path it takes, an upcoming snowstorm is expected to hit the South Shore of Long Island hard. 

The waters in the canals of Nassau County were calm Sunday night, perhaps deceptively so. Come Tuesday morning, a nor’easter is forecast to unleash blizzard conditions and flooding on the tri-state’s coastal communities.

Folks at Jeremy’s Ale House in Freeport are used to flooding. You might even say they’re unfazed.

Bar manager Patrick Cook said the water usually rises well over a foot during significant storms.

“We’re right over the water right now,” Cook said. “If it’s a nor’easter like they said, we’re gonna get water. The water will probably be all the way from the front door to the back door.”

Jeremy’s plans to be open no matter how many inches of snow fall on the ground or inches of floodwater seep into the dining room. They even have a collection of boots on hand for people who want to brave the flood water inside for a beer.

“Some of the guys will show up, and they’ll try to shovel us for beers,” Cook said.

Flooding in Freeport is not uncommon. It happened during the nor’easter in January and the blizzard in January 2016. This week’s nor’easter is expected to be more powerful than the one earlier this year, especially its effects on coastal communities. 

While there’s a blizzard watch for the entire island, Suffolk County could see especially fierce winds, erosion and flooding. The county will be closest to the center of the storm as it moves eastward and forecast models show it getting battered by winds for the longest period of time.

That’s if the storm stays slightly offshore as expected. If it moves closer to land, sleet and rain projected to stay out at sea will end up moving closer to the South Shore. This scenario increase the risk of coastal flooding and beach erosion as stinging sleet replaces puffs of snow.

Gina Sparaco was hanging out at Jeremy’s Ale House on Sunday. She said her family ended up raising their house 8 feet to deal with flooding after Sandy. Now they don’t worry about floodwater pouring in during winter and summer storms.

“Our driveway’s raised up, the house is fine,” Sparaco said. “Everybody around us, we’re worried about them. But most of the people are starting to raise now.”

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