Long Island surfers riding wave of Hurricane Florence, while others keep their distance

Kristin Thorne Image
Saturday, September 15, 2018
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Kristin Thorne reports on the impact of Hurricane Florence in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, Nassau County (WABC) -- Surfers in Long Beach are reveling in the gift of high surf from Hurricane Florence.

"It was a lot of fun, a little windy, but I think yesterday was a better day," said surfer JD Coleman, of Manhattan. "But today was still fun. It's always a treat."

However, local officials caution the water could be dangerous, with rip tides and waves up to 10 feet. A high rip current risk is now in effect through Saturday evening.

Erosion is also possible over the next few days along Long Island's South Shore.

Lots of people stopped on the boardwalk to watch the surfers, including Joe DiGregorio of Boston, who's in town for his cousin's wedding at the Allegria Hotel.

"We're not from here, so we didn't realize these waves weren't typical, but it's been fun to watch," he said. "We've seen a couple of guys get pitted for sure, a few barrels."

Eyewitness News caught up on the boardwalk with Dianne and Thomas Russell, who are originally from Long Island but have lived in North Carolina since the 1990s. They evacuated the area and are staying with their son on Long Island until the storm passes and they get the all clear.

"The house is all boarded up, metal shutters," Thomas Russell said. "I built it 10 years ago. I know it's safe."

He said their town of Kurey Beach seems to have been spared by the storm so far, and that he and his wife will return when they know all the roads are clear of any flooding.


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