Nor’easter rainfall eases Wednesday, but winds strengthen overnight, N…

A three-day nor’easter will continue to batter Long Island Wednesday, sending powerful wind gusts that could cause strength outages, especially on the East End, after drenching the vicinity Tuesday with several inches of rain.

The storm began Monday evening and continued by parts of the day Tuesday, with anywhere from 2½ to 7 inches of rain falling overall in the vicinity. But while the rain will ease Wednesday, high winds that will ramp up overnight will keep pelting Long Island.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday night that winds on the East End overnight will be 35 to 45 mph with gusts of up to 69 mph in Montauk, while areas further west will see winds of 20 mph to 30 mph with gusts of 55 mph.

The high winds are expected to last by Wednesday, with gusts powerful enough to blow down trees, scatter unsecured objects and make travel extremely difficult, the weather service said.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency early Tuesday, warning that residents should avoid travel as the storms ramps up again. Gov. Kathy Hochul also preemptively declared a state of emergency for most of the state, including Nassau County.

The vicinity saw up to 5 inches of rain Tuesday with an additional 1 to 2 possible overnight, the weather service said Tuesday afternoon.

“Additional light to moderate rainfall is expected overnight before tapering to secluded showers by Wednesday morning,” the weather service said. “Additional rainfall will generally be less than a ½-inch overnight.”

Parts of Suffolk reported winds up between 40 and 50 mph Tuesday morning and early afternoon, the weather service said.

Later Tuesday afternoon brought calmer winds and little rain. But the storm, which attained force again early evening Tuesday, played havoc with air travel, causing meaningful flight delays at most local airports.

The Long Island Rail Road was not reporting any major delays Tuesday although the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, bus service advised that there could be delays, detours or route cancellations caused by heavy rain and possible flash flooding.

Riders were advised to check the Service Alert webpage or use the Go Mobile app to track real-time arrivals. Suffolk Transit also advised riders to allow additional travel time as buses could be running late.

The storm was expected to move westward by Suffolk and Nassau Wednesday morning, according to the weather service.

On Wednesday, Long Islanders should expect morning showers and continuing high winds, especially for the East End, which could see gusts of nearly 70 mph Wednesday, the weather service said.

East End town officials said they were preparing for the brunt of the nor’easter to hit the North and South folks Tuesday evening.

“We might get the worst of it, but we’re trying to gauge how bad it’s going to be,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. ” … We might get hit hard and we’re trying to batten down the hatches the best we can.”

Officials said the already saturated ground could cause more trees to topple over onto strength lines and block thin roads.

Town officials said they saw some flooding in Flanders and along Dune Road, and were urging residents to obtain private character, including tying down boats and pulling them out of the water.

“I’m concerned if the wind picks up and the saturation already, we could see an increase of uprooted trees and weakened branches leaning on strength lines and knock it down to do a little damage,” said Southampton Emergency sets Manager Ryan Murphy.

On the ocean, seas could reach 10 to 15 feet, and 3 to 6 feet on Long Island Sound, the weather service said.

Every storm is different, Bellone said, singling this one out for its length.

“We are looking at a storm that is going to be with us by midday Wednesday,” he said.

“And of course, with a storm like this, you are talking about high winds and heavy rain — that is a combination that can produce meaningful strength outages,” he additional, noting that work crews are clearing fallen trees and branches and high-axle vehicles have been deployed should flooding arise.

Acting Suffolk Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron urged caution on the roads, but said the storm had “limited impact” by Tuesday afternoon.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, in a Tuesday storm briefing at the Office of Emergency Management in Bethpage, also warned of the saturated ground leading to falling trees and branches falling on strength lines, causing outages.

“The rain will continue, but it will turn into more of a windstorm and … will continue falling until tomorrow,” Curran said.

The forecast calls for the sun to return Thursday before another low-pressure system will appear Friday, bringing more showers that could last by Saturday.

Sunday, which is Halloween, looks clear, the weather service said.

With Joan Gralla

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