Nor’easter causes heavy flooding, power outages in Long Beach

Long Beach firefighters responded to a leaning utility pole at West Broadway and Magnolia Boulevard on Friday.
Courtesy Long Beach Professional Fire Fighters/Facebook

A powerful nor’easter caused significant flooding and power outages in parts of Long Beach on Friday and Saturday, and parts of Long Island saw as much as 4 inches of rain, Newsday reported.

The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood warning Friday through Saturday and a flood advisory through Friday at 5 p.m.

The Long Beach Fire Department responded to about 28 emergency calls between Friday and Saturday, the department said on its Facebook page. An emergency standby was in effect on Friday, and volunteer firefighters and EMTs manned the fire houses.

“A lot of it right now is the effects of the wind on power lines and trees, with branches coming down. We got calls for wires hanging low, and some transformers blew,” Fire Chief Joe Miller said on Friday, adding that parts of the West End were temporarily without power.

While there were no major incidents, Miller said on Monday, firefighters rushed to a house fire in West Atlantic Beach on Saturday at around 5 a.m. The second and third floors of the three-story Bay Boulevard house were filled with heavy smoke, he added.

“We’re guessing it was some sort of electrical issue [relating to] the storm the day before, when power went out,” Miller said.

The fire most likely started from the generator, he explained, and was quickly extinguished after four residents in the house were safely evacuated. There were no reported injuries.

The high tides on Friday caused flooding in low lying areas like the West End, the canals and the North Park area, residents said. The Fire Department advised motorists to avoid the area west of Pennsylvania and West Park avenues Friday morning. The city also built temporary berms along the beach in advance of the storm.

Miller also said the LBFD was called to Island Park on Saturday to assist the Island Park Fire Department in retrieving a group of people who were stranded in a car in a flooded area near Bridgeview Yacht Club. The LBFD used their high-axle vehicle to help the people out of the car and brought them to dry land, he said.

Kevin Reilly, vice president of the North East Bay and Canals Civic Association, said there was water in the streets on Saturday morning and some houses lost power for about ten minutes.

“I think all of the canal streets had water at the end of them,” Reilly said, adding that water was coming up to the tideflex valves.

“We don’t have much luck with the tideflex valves here in the canals, they never work for us,” he said.

Reilly also said that some trees fell during the high-speed winds, and a neighbor’s basketball hoop fell on his car and caused damage to the hood.

Additionally, Park Street in East Atlantic Beach Estates was temporarily closed on Friday due to a fallen utility pole, East Atlantic Beach Mayor George Pappas said.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran held a news conference Friday morning, saying that Friday night’s high tides were expected to bring a storm surge of about one- to two-feet above normal and cause more flooding in low lying and vulnerable communities. The tail end of the storm brought dangerous wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

The city said on its website on Friday that officials were coordinating with New York State, Nassau County, PSEG and National Grid to prepare for the heavy rain and flooding and encouraged residents to read the emergency preparedness information. Public works crews worked to make sure storm drains were clear and functioning properly and sand was moved on the beach to close off and secure openings in between dunes and the boardwalk.

The city has put a focus on large-scale resiliency projects since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, the city posted on its website, including securing funding for bulkhead improvements on the bayside, installing the tideflex valves to minimize flooding and upgrading the sewer and drainage systems.

Miller said the Fire Department will continue to keep an eye on the weather in anticipation of snow on Wednesday.