What to Know
- Jose, currently a Category 1 hurricane, is expected to gradually weaken as it passes southeast of Long Island Wednesday
- The system is expected to stay well offshore, but wind and surge impacts will still be felt Tuesday night into Wednesday evening
- A coastal flood warning is in effect for parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and northern New Jersey, Storm Team 4 says
Parts of Long Island remain under a tropical storm watch ahead of Hurricane Jose, which is expected to stay out to sea but still deliver punishing rains, rough surf, wind and beach erosion to the area.
The watch is in effect for the coast of Long Island from Fire Island inlet to Port Jefferson, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 24 to 36 hours.
A coastal flood watch escalated to a warning for parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and northern New Jersey from Tuesday evening to Wednesday afternoon. The coastal areas are expected to get the brunt of Jose's conditions.
Jose, a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, could bring 2 to locally 3 feet of surge above ground level in low-lying areas near the waterfront and shoreline during high tide, forecasters say. That could result in road closures and cause widespread flooding of parking lots, parks, lawns and homes and businesses with basements near the waterfront.
Gov. Cuomo says 100 members of the National Guard, 13 members of an urban search and rescue team, and 20 high-axle vehicles will set up a command post at a welcome center on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills in Suffolk County. The area is already experiencing rough waters and rip current advisories due to swells being generated by Jose. Those advisories will last through the middle of the week, according to Storm Team 4.
"We know how dangerous, volatile and unpredictable extreme weather can be, which is why it's always better to be ready for anything," Cuomo said in a statement. "With all that we have witnessed across the country the past few weeks, there is no reason to take chances when we have the time and ability to be prepared."
PSEG Long Island has also bolstered its ranks with out-of-state crews to help work on any power outages and downed trees.
Impacts were already being felt Tuesday morning. John F. Kennedy Airport was reporting four-hour arrival delays before noon because of strong winds. Matt Doherty, mayor of Belmar, New Jersey, tweeted a photo of a storm damaged-pier and rough surf. In Middletown, a driver got stuck in floodwaters amid rising tides and whipping winds and had to be rescued from the roof of his car.
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According to the National Hurricane's latest advisory, Jose is expected to make a turn to the northeast Wednesday, when it will begin dumping up to 3 inches of rain on eastern Long Island and southeast Connecticut. That rainfall could cause some isolated flooding.
Some showers are expected during the day Tuesday, but according to Storm Team 4, periods of heavy rain, especially along the coast, are likely Tuesday night into Wednesday as the storm moves just offshore, possibly producing tropical storm-force winds in parts of Long Island.
Jose hadn't strengthened much on Tuesday, ad forecasters said it would gradually weaken on Wednesday. Still, the city and other points along the mid-Atlantic coast could still see up to 2 inches of rain.
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In New Jersey, erosion was already apparent on the beaches of Belmar Tuesday. And the fishing pier that had been restored after Sandy was again damaged -- the farthest two pilings totally collapsed, and the end of the pier is no longer safe to walk out on. And in Middletown, a driver had to be rescued from floodwater.
On Long Island, the sound of Jose's overture was thundering in places like Westhampton's James Beach.
"It's a huge washing machine out there, tons of white water," said Westhampton resident Justin Lettier, who's hoping the storm keeps moving east.
"We've lived through a couple and have seen what it can do. And it's frightening," said Karen Lettier.
In Shirley, Bill Napolitano exhausted his life savings to build his new house along Narrow Bay after Sandy destroyed it in 2012, and now with his home 10 feet of the ground, he's hoping for the best with Jose.
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Jose is expected to pull away from the tri-state area Wednesday evening, though some models indicate it could loop back around, lingering offshore in the waters between Long Island and New Jersey, through the workweek. That would make for breezy conditions and high rip current risk for days, but no additional rain or damaging winds, according to Storm Team 4.
Meanwhile, the vicious Maria is swirling toward Irma-battered Puerto Rico, which could see a direct hit by a major hurricane for the first time in decades.
Maria strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane Monday as it bore down on the Caribbean. Early Tuesday it had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.