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Nov 2, 2012 1:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Nor'Easter Expected To Affect South Shore; Voluntary Evacuations Called For

Nov 8, 2012 10:30 AM

Some East End residents are being asked to voluntarily evacuate their homes as others are bracing for the arrival of a nor’easter that is expected to hit the area starting on Wednesday afternoon, making it the second major storm to slam the Eastern Seaboard in less than two weeks.

On Wednesday morning, representatives from the National Weather Service said the winds were already picking up and gusts have already been recorded at 30 mph. Meteorologists also said the storm is a slow moving system and conditions will gradually deteriorate throughout the day.

According to the NWS website, www.weather.gov/nyc, there are high wind and flood warnings for our area through Thursday.

Lauren Nash, a meteorologist with the NWS in Upton, said on Tuesday that the nor’easter, based on its current path, was expected to drop between a half inch and an inch of rain across the area, and also bring with it sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts possibly topping 50 mph.

As of Tuesday afternoon, meteorologists said they did not expect the center of the storm to make landfall on Long Island, as its trajectory has it heading out to the ocean, meaning that the strongest winds, located on the eastern side, should remain out at sea. But even if the storm’s strongest winds stay to the east, local residents can still expect the storm’s surge to raise water levels between 2.5 and 4 feet.

That could spell bad news for an area still digging out from last week’s devastating Superstorm Sandy, which caused severe flooding in several areas of East Hampton Town, including Gerard Drive in East Hampton, certain points in Napeague, and along South Emerson Avenue and in front of the Royal Atlantic Beach Resort in Montauk—and in Southampton Town, including East Quogue, Flanders, Hampton Bays, North Sea and Sag Harbor.

On Tuesday afternoon, Southampton Town officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for all low-lying areas in the town, most notably zone A homes. In Westhampton Beach, the village has also issued a voluntary evacuation for all homes and businesses south of Main Street.

In Montauk, the water level is forecasted to be 5 feet over the mean low water mark, with slightly higher levels to the west due to the strong easterly winds. In comparison, the water was 7.2 feet over the mean low water mark in Montauk when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the region last week.

While Ms. Nash said the expected northeast winds should be good news for oceanfront properties along the south shore, they could cause problems for the north-facing shorelines in the area, like the Culloden areas of Montauk, Gerard Drive in East Hampton and Pine Neck in Flanders. All three areas sustained massive flooding last week, and are expected to see higher water levels again on Wednesday evening and Thursday.

East End officials, however, are stressing that the nor’easter is not expected to be as powerful as Superstorm Sandy, explaining that they are different types of events. While they are closely monitoring the storm, East Hampton Village Administrator Larry Cantwell said officials there are not taking any extra precautions while preparing for its arrival.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said Tuesday that officials in her town have been working to shore up the town’s beaches, most of which were heavily damaged by Sandy. On Monday and Tuesday, the town’s Department of Public Works employees created temporary berms, using sand displaced by last week’s storm, to protect areas where washovers occurred. Ms. Throne-Holst also said the town has opted to post voluntary evacuation notices in low-lying areas and is encouraging residents to heed warnings about flooding.

In order to accommodate the voluntary evacuees, the town will keep two emergency shelters open during the storm. Those who opt to leave their homes can seek shelter at either the Hampton Bays Senior Center on Ponquogue Avenue or the David W. Crohan Community Center on Flanders Road in Flanders. The town’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) also will remain open for information. “All of the low-lying areas on the north and south shores ... should consider the voluntary evacuations,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

Aram Terchunian, a coastal geologist for the consulting firm First Coastal Corporation in Westhampton Beach, said Southampton Town is doing an excellent job in shoring up Dune Road, considering it has had little time to prepare for the nor’easter. He said town workers have been using bulldozers to build temporary berms along the shore that will be between 4 and 6 feet tall and 10 and 20 feet wide.

“The objective is to limit the amount of water that can come across the island because of the storm surge,” he said on Tuesday. “The town is working very closely with Suffolk County, and they have been out there since early this morning doing a great job. I am very impressed.”

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By Q333 (161), Southampton on Nov 2, 12 9:46 PM
3 members liked this comment
Mr. Terchunian speculated that a nor’easter would be “devastating” to Dune Road, and several people could lose their homes and businesses. “It could be bad,” Mr. Terchunian said.

Or not

It's this type of doomsday speculation that dulls people's sensitivity to real danger. There's no guarantee it will even develop!
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 4, 12 6:27 PM
So no one should say anything about the potential damage this storm could result in?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 12 10:54 AM
Watch the storm wind up its spring in the South:


Here you can click on the days of the week above the map, for the NWS forecast:


By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 8:20 PM
Forecast discussion:

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 8:22 PM
Here is a larger loop:

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 5, 12 8:43 PM
This loop is showing the storm coming close to us, but to the NE, so hopefully the storm surge will not be as extreme.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 9:18 AM
She's a'buildin' up a head of steam. Check radar link above.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 6, 12 1:54 PM
Montauk recent high tide about 3' above normal. Everyone OK?

The Battery in southern NYC was only about 2.5' above normal high tide.

Pretty large waves at the buoys at Nantucket, Block Island, S. of Islip and Ambrose Light.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 12 6:11 PM