The North Fork braces for flooding along the bay as high tide approaches

A coastal flood warning is in effect until 2 p.m. today as high tide is expected to bring with it moderate to major flooding along the Peconic bays and river, the National Weather Service warned.

The heaviest flooding is expected to occur along the Peconic River in Riverhead, where 7 to 7 1/2 foot tides have been forecast, about four feet higher than the norm, according to the NWS. To the east, Orient Harbor should see tides as high as 6 to 7 feet, causing moderate flooding.

The most serious flooding anywhere on Long Island with Monday’s high tide is along the south shore of the North Fork. Historically, the heavily trafficked downtowns of Riverhead and Greenport have been among the most flood prone areas.

“The potential for localized major coastal flooding is mainly along Peconic Bay and the Peconic Riverfront,” the NWS wrote in its warning, saying the tides could rise to as high as three feet above ground in some areas. “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.”

High tide will take place between 8 a.m in Orient and 10 a.m. in Riverhead, according to the NWS.

The Town of Riverhead has urged motorists to move all vehicles out of the riverfront parking area and for residents of flood-prone areas to take caution around high tide.

Following heavy rain overnight, the potential for more rain exists through mid-morning across the North Fork. Winds over 20 mph are in the forecast through mid-afternoon. Gusts could be as high as 40 mph, the NWS warned.

While the temperature is expected to reach as high as 48 degrees Monday, it should dip back to freezing by Tuesday.