The North Shore of Long Island was hit hard when the aftermath of Tropical Depression Ida swept along the East Coast.
While the storm pummeled the Island Wednesday night, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Suffolk County. Severe flooding headed down Main Street, E Broadway and the side streets of Port Jefferson, causing damage to local stores, the Port Jefferson Fire Department and Theatre Three.
On Wednesday night the fire department responded to numerous water rescue emergencies, and multiple victims were rescued from their vehicles by its High Water unit. They were joined by the Terryville Fire Department and Mount Sinai Fire Department.
According to the PJFD, in some cases, civilians were found on the roof of their vehicles, or trapped within a floating vehicle. Additionally, a landslide took place on Dark Hallow Road, which left the road essentially impassable with nearly 4-feet of mud and debris.
As a result of the landslide, eight families were evacuated from their apartment building due to unstable conditions of the land.
While fire department volunteers made their ways out to help others, they, too, were victims of the storm. The firehouse on Maple Avenue suffered extensive flood damage.
“Our firefighters did an excellent job coordinating multiple rescues,” said Chief of Department Todd Stumpf. “We have a lot of cleanup ahead, but we are fully in service and able to respond to all emergencies.”
He added that fortunately no injuries were reported during the storm.
Down the street, Theatre Three said they had more than three-and-a-half feet of water inside as of Wednesday morning.
Executive artistic director Jeffrey Sanzel said that the theatre has had its fair share of floods throughout the years, and even though they were more prepared for Ida than others in the past, it was still a hard hit.
“This will be two or three days of cleaning,” he said, “But we’ll get it done and you won’t know what happened.”
Water record-setting levels heading too close for comfort to the stage downstairs. Sanzel said water knocked over and carried one of the dumpsters outside, as well as damaged dozens of costumes, furniture and a beautiful, donated upright piano that is now ruined.
Other businesses like Ruvo and Lavender Fields had flood damage and are currently in the midst of cleaning up.
“Port Jeff was hit again with a flash flood of over 7’’ of torrential rainfall,” said Mayor Margot Garant. “While it hit hard, we remain resilient and continue our work with the state emergency office and state agencies on our flood remediation efforts.”