Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Earl disrupts ferry service, closes beaches

Taken from my bedroom window around 8 a.m.

Even though its partly cloudy and rather calm here in Brooklyn as I write this blog, Hurricane Earl is expected to bring gusty winds and rain to the area later today as it passes southeast of Long Island.

The approaching storm has prompted ferry cancellations and beach closures on Fire Island. Here is the latest information from the Fire Island News.

Approaching Hurricane Earl has prompted the Bay Shore-based Fire Island Ferries to suspend ferry service after 3 p.m. today.

Ferry service from Bay Shore to Ocean Bay Park, Seaview, Ocean Beach, Atlantique, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, Saltaire and Kismet would resume at 7 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 4. Meanwhile, the Sayville Ferry Service has announced several cancellations. These include the cancellation of the 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and midnight ferries to the Fire Island Pines, the midnight ferry to Cherry Grove, the evening ferries to Water Island and all scheduled service to Sailors Haven. Ferries to Watch Hill have also been cancelled, but the Davis Park Ferry Company said it plans to run ferries to Davis Park through at least 3:20 p.m. (Call (631) 475-1665 for updated information)

Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning remains in effect from Fire Island Inlet to Port Jefferson Harbor.

There are no plans to evacuate Fire Island at this time, but Joseph Williams, commissioner of Suffolk County's Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, told the News on Wednesday, Sept. 1, he said he expects the beach will experience near tropical storm winds and rain as Earl passes southeast of Long Island this evening. Minor tidal flooding could take place. Beach erosion remains a serious concern, especially around high tides at 2:56 p.m. today and 3:44 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Local officials continue to urge Fire Islanders to secure their boats, outdoor furniture, umbrellas and other items ahead of the storm. News reporter Kaetlin Perna reported many people took the 6:05 p.m. ferry from Ocean Beach to the mainland on Wednesday, Sept. 1., but other Fire Islanders continue to wait and see what Earl could potentially bring.

“We’ve been through this many times, but we are waiting to see what happens,” said Wendy Lewis of the Grove Hotel in Cherry Grove late on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Closures and other information:

- The Watch Hill campground will remain closed through tonight.

- Smith Point County Beach is closed to camping, day trippers and swimming.

- The Long Island Railroad will operate on a normal schedule west of Speonk. The LIRR has scheduled eight "early getaway trains" between 2:02 p.m. and 3:48 p.m. from Penn Station to Babylon, Great Neck, Far Rockaway, Hicksville and Huntington.

- The annual Divas Party in the Pines has been rescheduled to Sunday, Sept. 5, from 4 - 8 p.m.

Log onto for more information and for further updates.

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