Nor’easter brings coastal flood threat during high tides

03/02/2018 8:05 AM |

UPDATE (Friday, 5:30 p.m.): PSEG Long Island reported an outage in Wading River that caused 414 customers to be without power as of 5:30 p.m. An estimated restoration time was posted as 9:45 p.m. The outage was in the area of Sound Road.

UPDATE (Friday, 9:50 a.m.): Riverhead Highway Superintendent George “Gio” Woodson said flooding could occur anywhere in town with the rain currently falling.

“It just overwhelms the system,” he said. “The drains in town are only created for like an inch of rain. When you get these downpours, it overwhelms the system and eventually they’ll drain within three or four hours after it stops raining.”

Mr. Woodson said Friday morning crews are pumping down Fresh Pond Avenue near Calverton Meadows.

“We’ve got a couple issues in Wading River we’re dealing with,” he added. “I don’t think the heavy rain has gotten here yet.”

Original Story: A nor’easter already arrived on the North Fork by the time residents woke up on Friday morning.

The significant storm is bringing gusty winds of up to 70 mph in some places, heavy rain, and possible flooding throughout Long Island— and areas of snow elsewhere in the northeast.

Snow will mix with rain on the North Fork Friday night through early Saturday, but little to no accumulation is expected.

Heavy rainfall of at least 2 to 4 inches is expected, according to the National Weather Service. A flood watch has been in effect since 6 a.m. on Friday and remains in effect until 6 a.m. on Saturday.

In a statement Friday morning, Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said rain had already caused ponding on roadways. She asked that motorists slow down and be careful not to drive through standing water.

“Minor to locally moderate coastal flood expected this morning,” the NWS said in a coastal flood advisory, which is in effect until 1 p.m. on Friday.

Widespread moderate coastal flood is expected, however, particularly along the southern and eastern bays on Long Island and the North Fork during high tides. Water could be 2 to 3 1/2 feet above normal Saturday night, the NWS said.

Coastal flood warnings have been issued for Friday night at 6 to Saturday at 2 a.m., and again Saturday at 6 a.m. to Sunday at 2 a.m.

Wind picked up late Thursday night, increased overnight, and will continue to pound the East End Friday. Forecasters said the damaging winds would be out of the north 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph in Riverhead and 65 mph in Orient. The strongest winds are expected to pick up Friday afternoon and evening.

Power outages from blown down trees and power lines are possible.

PSEG-Long Island said in a statement Thursday that it was prepared to tackle the damage from the nor’easter. To report and receive status updates on an outage Text OUT to PSEGLI (773454) or to report an outage online visit

Officials said to stay away from down wired and treat them as though they are energized. To report a downed wire call PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number: 1-800-490-0075

Photo caption: Flooding in downtown Riverhead early Friday afternoon. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)