As Tropical Storm Isaias climbs from the southeast coast towards Long Island, county officials are deploying resources in the event of any damage from the wind and rain and encouraging residents to track the storm and, if necessary, avoid travel tomorrow.
The worst of the storm, which could have winds of 39 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, may hit the island in the afternoon through the evening. Most of the county could get between two inches and three inches of rain, with one to two inches on the east end.
“When you consider the amount of rain we’re talking about, if we get hit with those numbers, that is a serious event,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said in a press conference today.
Bellone urged residents to secure loose objects or bring them inside on Monday to prevent any damage.
Residents who lose power can text OUT to PSE&G at 773454. Residents can also report an outage online, assuming they have the ability to connect online, through PSEGLINY.com, or they can call (800) 490-0075.
The storm surge could bring as much as 10 to 15 feet of breaking surf on Tuesday afternoon. The vulnerable shoreline could also have two to three feet of flooding with the high tide on Tuesday between 9 p.m. and midnight.
Suffolk County is prepared to handle evacuations, although Bellone said such actions aren’t expected.
Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) suggested in an email that customers remain in their homes while PSE&G crews are working nearby. If residents need to speak with representatives of the utility, PSE&G urged residents to practice social distancing and remain at least six feet away.
Hahn also suggested that residents keep their cell phones and tablets charged so they have a full battery. Lowering screen brightness and shutting down applications preserves battery life.
Bellone urged people to stay away from flooded streets. Cars that get trapped or that stall in flooded waters drain resources from the county, requiring rescue for the occupants of the vehicle.
The Emergency Operations Center, which has been active for months in the midst of the pandemic, is up and running and will have increased hours. The staffing at the center includes members of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, the Suffolk County Police Department, the Sheriff’s office, the Department of Public Works, the Red Cross, Long Island Railroad, the State Police and PSE&G.
The SCPD has deployed humvees to each of their precincts to prepare them for the storm. The Department of Public Works has also pre-deployed a number of resources, such as 62 chain saws, 13 full saw, 22 10-wheeled dump tracks, 35 debris clearance crews, among other machines and crews.
“All of that diverse equipment is pre-deployed and prepared to go in case we need to clear roads, address flooding or help evacuate individuals,” Bellone said.
Bellone urged residents to sign up for the Suffolk County code red emergency notification system, which provides customized messages to residents. People can sign up through the we site suffolkcountyny.gov/
Bellone urged residents to monitor the media for updates and to track the progress of the storm. Even if this storm doesn’t bring considerable damage, it may provide a dry run for what could be an active hurricane season, which will occur in the midst of the county’s ongoing efforts to recover from the pandemic caused by COVID-19.