Coastal flood warnings to take effect in southern Queens and Long Island this Saturday

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By Dan Sears

Coastal flood warnings in southern Queens and most of Long Island are expected to take effect Saturday morning, as the New York City region braces for strong winds and rain beginning Friday evening.

The warnings are set to start at 7 a.m. Saturday and last through much of the day, depending on the specific area, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS says residents should prepare for up to two inches of rain and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour Friday night into Saturday, as well as “widespread moderate to major flooding” near shorelines.

The storm could cause various road closures and flooding at parking lots, parks and properties near the waterfront, states NWS’ latest update on the storm. “Vehicles parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront will likely become flooded and destroyed,” the weather service says.

Other parts of the region are also under coastal flood advisories until Saturday afternoon.

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New York’s northern suburbs and northeast New Jersey are under a flood watch until Saturday morning. Flood warnings continue to be in effect surrounding rivers in New Jersey, including the Passaic River at Chatham, after a powerful storm swept the area earlier this week.

On Friday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is monitoring multiple storms that will bring rain and possible flash flooding downstate and the potential for 20 inches of snow and blizzard-like conditions in western New York, which is bracing for a lake-effect storm.

“The volume of rain is not the challenge,” she said. “It’s this rain on top of the rainfall that already came [this week]. The rivers are already cresting, and the ground is so saturated that it creates vulnerabilities for trees to come down or even compromise roads and bridges.”

Jackie Bray, New York’s homeland security commissioner, said the state has activated water rescue teams in the Hudson Valley, though she noted major transit disruptions weren’t expected. “Take your time getting where you’re going tonight,” she said. “Don’t rush it.”

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The preparations come after a storm delivered flooding and fierce gusts to the New York area Tuesday night into Wednesday, leaving thousands of power outages in its aftermath. The storm also led New York City officials to temporarily evacuate a large-scale tent shelter for migrants at Floyd Bennett Field in southern Brooklyn.

The city’s emergency management agency said Friday it wasn’t currently considering similar relocations given the forecast, but noted it was coordinating with the fire department and other authorities to prepare for the anticipated coastal flooding in southern Queens.

“Rain may cause travel delays & minor flooding of property,” Notify NYC, the agency’s alert system, posted on social media. “NYers are advised to exercise caution.”

With strong winds expected citywide, the NYC Department of Buildings is urging people to secure any equipment or belongings that could be swept away.

Jon Campbell contributed reporting.

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