Long Island South Shore Hurricane Storm Surge Maps
See the effects of storm surge from Camille,
Hurricane storm surge causes approximately 90% of all storm deaths and injuries and much of the damage, therefore it is important for residents of Long Island, New York to be aware of the areas that will be affected by the storm surge. The southern shore of Long Island is most vulnerable to storm surge inundation because hurricane landfall will first occur there and the low elevation will allow sea water to move well inland.
Lutgens & Tarbuck, The Atmosphere, 7th ed.
a 1969 Category 5 hurricane in Mississippi
The height of maximum storm surge is a function of storm strength, location of eye landfall, tidal time of landfall, elevation, and speed of storm. The image below represents Long Island and the NY City metro region as they would be affected by storm surge from various strength hurricanes. The image is from the New York State Emergency Management Office GIS software that uses historical storm data and regional topography to estimate areas that would be inundated by water. (It should be noted that category 5 storm surges are not predicted because there is little probability of such storms and no historical data exists for reference.)
Click for full-view. (3.22 MB PDF file)
Storm Surge Interactive Risk Maps from the National Hurricane Center allows the public to anticipate storm surge in their neighborhood from various strength hurricanes. Climate Central has a very user-freindly storm surge tool called Surging Seas. Dr. Jeff Masters also makes storm surge maps available to the public for various regions on his Storm Surge Inundation Maps for the U.S. Coast page.
Some of the key observations from the above include:
- Category 1 hurricanes inundate just about all of the immediate south shore of the Island, including the north side of Great South Bay locations and both sides of the north and south forks.
- Montauk Highway (RT. 27A) is completely covered by flood waters during a Category 3 hurricane. Therefore, this road would be considered impassable during the storm.
- The highest storm surges (Category 4) would occur in the following regions:
- Amityville Harbor - 29 feet
- Atlantic Beach & Long Beach areas - 24 to 28 feet
- South Oyster Bay, Middle Bay, & East Bay areas - 24 to 28 feet
- Montauk Point is completely cut off from rest of south fork during a category 1 storm.
- Much of the north and south forks are entirely under water during a category 3 hurricane.
- A category 4 hurricane inundates the entire towns of: Amityville, Lindenhurst, Babylon, West Islip, East Islip, Bayshore, Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach, Great South Beach, Fair Harbor, Cherry Grove, Cupsogue, Westhampton Beach, Watermill Beach, Wainscott Beach, Plum Island, Gardiner's Island, Orient, Shelter Island (except for a few high points), Greenport, North Haven, Amagansett Beach, Napeague Beach, Montauk, Woodmere, Valley Stream, Linbrook, Long Beach, Atlantic Beach, Freeport, Merrick, Wantagh, Lido Beach, Jones Beach, and Tobay Beach.