Coastal Flooding is Izzy’s Threat to East End
Update Noon, Jan.17:
The National Weather Service has updated its Coastal Flood Statement as the winds from this storm have shifted to the south-southwest, dampening the effect of tidal surge here.
The statement, in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, says eastern Suffolk County can expect up to “half a foot of coastal inundation above vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shoreline” until 1 p.m. today.
As of noon, high tide had just recently passed on much of the East End, with waters rising throughout the early morning Monday, but then waters began to level off just ahead of high tide as the winds shifted.
“Water levels are receding, but minor flooding is still expected in the more vulnerable locations near the waterfront and shoreline until about 1 p.m.,” according to the statement.
Original Story Follows (Jan. 16, 10 p.m.):
The winter storm dubbed Izzy, which has brought much of the East Coast to its knees this weekend, will hit the East End with a wallop of water and wind Monday morning, particularly in areas along the coastline — but no snow is expected here.
Coastal flooding is expected to be the biggest threat associated with this storm here, and the National Weather Service on Sunday evening issued a Coastal Flood Warning during the high tide cycle on Monday, Jan. 17 from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., bringing “two to three feet of inundation above ground level” in vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shoreline.
“The potential for localized major coastal flooding (three feet above ground level) is mainly along Peconic Bay, the Peconic riverfront and the South Shore of the North Fork,” according to the warning. “Widespread moderate to locally major flooding of vulnerable areas is possible near the waterfront and shoreline, including roads, parking lots, parks, lawns and homes and businesses with basements near the waterfront. Numerous road closures are possible, and vehicles parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront may become flooded. Flooding will also extend inland from the waterfront along tidal rivers and bays.”
The National Weather Service was predicting as of Sunday evening a 4 to 4.5 foot departure above normal high tide at 8 a.m. Monday at Orient Point, and a 4 to 4.5 foot departure above normal high tide in Riverhead at 11 a.m., both of which the NWS deemed “moderate to major” flooding.
Montauk was anticipated to see a high tide of 3.7 to 4.2 feet above normal, which the NWS deemed “moderate.”
Below are the times of high tide on the East End for Monday, Jan. 17:
Plum Gut Harbor: 9:27 a.m., 9:51 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 8:35 a.m., 8:59 p.m.
Greenport: 10:04 a.m., 10:28 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 10:50 a.m., 11:21 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 9:59 a.m., 10:23 p.m.
New Suffolk: 11:26 a.m., 11:50 p.m.
South Jamesport: 11:33 a.m., 11:57 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 8:25 a.m., 8:56 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 6:34 a.m., 7:05 p.m.
Riverhead Town on Sunday afternoon urged residents to remove their cars from the parking lot between downtown and the river, and urged residents who live near the water to “pay close attention to the storm, especially during the high tide cycle.”
Riverhead Town urged residents to remember the final “P” in preparedness, Pay Attention, especially to the tide, and referred residents to the following websites for flood safety tips:
National Weather Service
NYS Homeland Security
American Red Cross
According to the National Weather Service, “large breaking waves of 9 to 13 feet will result in significant beach erosion and flooding along the oceanfront… Breaking waves of 4 to 8 feet across Orient Point result in beach erosion, wave splashover onto shoreline streets and properties, and minor damage possible to shorefront structures.”
The National Weather Service has also issued a High Wind Warning from Midnight Sunday through 10 a.m. Monday, with east winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour, gusting to 60 to 65 miles per hour.
“The potential and exact threat areas for localized major coastal flooding will depend on how much before high tide the easterly storm force winds subside and if southerly gale force winds develop by the time of high tide,” according to the NWS. “The intensity and complexity of the situation necessitates preparation for localized major flooding in the above-mentioned areas.”
The East End is not expected to see snow from this storm, as temperatures will be in the mid-30s Sunday night and will climb into the mid-40s on Monday. We’re expecting about an inch of rain.