Jones Beach ordered closed as Hurricane Franklin menaces Atlantic

Long Island ocean beaches closed to swimming Wednesday as Hurricane Franklin churned over the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles away, creating powerful waves that flooded sections of the New York shore and threatened to keep beachgoers out of the water into Thursday.

The closures, which arrived in the final gasps of summer season, hit Jones Beach, Robert Moses Beach on Fire Island and Hither Hills beach in Montauk, according to Gov. Hochul’s office.

The closures were to remain in effect as long as challenging conditions persisted, Hochul’s office said.

George Gorman, regional director for New York State Parks on Long Island, said decisions about reopening to swimmers would be made Thursday morning, based on surf conditions and flood levels.

“We’re worried about the high tide tonight, and what we think will be the last high tide tomorrow morning,” Gorman said by phone Wednesday. “We are going to wait and see what the conditions are like.”

On Wednesday, sections of Robert Moses and Hither Hills were rendered impassable, officials said. Red flags rose on the shore.

Officials used a bulldozer to erect an 8-foot-tall wall of sand at Jones Beach in an attempt to prevent water from flooding into the central boardwalk and bathrooms, Gorman said.

“So far, that wall has held,” Gorman said Wednesday afternoon.

In New York City, a coastal flooding advisory and a rip current warning were in effect in Brooklyn and Queens.

Long Island Sound beaches at Sunken Meadow and Wildwood state parks remained open, according to Hochul’s office.

Hurricane Franklin barreled into Bermuda as a Category 2 storm Wednesday afternoon. Separately, Hurricane Idalia crashed into Georgia as a Category 1 storm.

The twin tropical tempests wreaked havoc as the Atlantic hurricane season approaches its height.

New York is historically most likely to endure effects from hurricanes in September and October, Hochul’s office said.

“As peak hurricane season approaches, the safety of all New Yorkers remains my top priority,” Hochul said in a statement. “I urge everyone to remain vigilant.”