Long Beach officials urge residents to evacuate

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Officials are urging residents to stay off the roads and watch out for flying debris. To assist in evacuation of the barrier island, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, Long Beach Bridge and Loop Parkway have been adjusted for northern traffic flow only. Residents who are evacuating should use coastal evacuation routes, which include: Peninsula Boulevard, Long Beach Road, the Meadowbrook Parkway and the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway. For more information, visit www.longbeachny.org.

“We are already seeing severe flooding before the worst of the storm is coming,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said on Facebook. “Now is the last chance to get out before the worst of the storm hits.”

Officials said on Friday that they expect roughly 30 percent of the city’s population to remain in Long Beach during the hurricane.

Monroe Boulevard resident Neil Vogel, who lives a block from the beach, was among those that heeded the evacuation order, and is staying at a hotel in Garden City with his wife to care for her mother.

“My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility in North Woodmere and they evacuated,” Vogel said. “We probably wouldn’t have [evacuated] otherwise. I took some precautions — we took in our patio furniture and put sandbags in our driveway. We’ve spoken to some friends … one of them, their street is flooded in Lido Beach and they can’t get out. I want to come back the minute the bridges reopen.”

Lester, who lives on Boyd Street in the Canals, said his street was submerged with more than 2-feet of water after high tide this morning. He said he is concerned when high tide hits again at 8:06 p.m.

“If you’re not on the canal, it’s not bad,” Lester said, adding that he’s running his pumps and erected concrete barriers and sandbags in front of his home. “Tonight’s going to be a disaster — you can’t leave your house. It’s frustrating — we’ve spent two full days preparing for this and I couldn’t do much. The concrete barriers are kind of nice but nothing can stop the water. The problem is, they’re only 3-feet high, and if the water goes higher than that … it would have been fine for Irene.

Last year, Lester said that Irene caused $50,000 in damage to his home. He said that new bulkheads in the Canals have done little to prevent flooding.
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