Hurricane Jose is forecast to impact Long Island as it passes to the south of the region, potentially causing flooding, erosion and other damage, officials warned.
The National Weather Service (NWS) had Nassau County under a coastal flood advisory and the agency cancelled a tropical storm watch for Suffolk County, although eastern LI was still expected to feel some effects of the storm. The storm is not expected to make a direct impact on LI, but is forecast to deliver a passing blow.
“There’s potential that Long Island is going to be hurt by this storm,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a news conference. “We are prepared for whatever it is or for whatever it isn’t.”
Jose had weakened from a category 4 to a tropical storm as it passed LI. Tropical storm force winds reach 310 miles out, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday. The storm was about 230 miles southeast of New York City early Tuesday afternoon is expected to pass about 200 miles off the coast of eastern LI.
The forecast had called for strong winds that could down trees and power lines, as well as up to three or four inches of rain, although NWS said the local wind threat had dissipated Wednesday. But storm surge of up to two feet is still expected in flood-prone areas. And waves big enough to wash over dunes remain likely to cause beach erosion.
Cuomo has sent state personnel, including members of the National Guard, to LI to help deal with the storm. Both Nassau and Suffolk county executives have activated their emergency operations centers to coordinate resources. The public is urged to stay off the roads unless necessary and secure loose objects that may become projectiles in the wind.
The governor added that state personnel will remain on LI after Jose passes just in case Hurricane Maria, a category 4 currently churning up the Caribbean, also moves toward the Island.
“Whatever happens with Jose, we’re going to remain deployed through the coming and going of storm Maria,” Cuomo said.