With winds out of the north-northeast, Montauk and Amagansett's northsides are getting slammed, not only by sustained winds of 70 knots, but also the storm surge that Hurricane Sandy is helping to bring to the East Coast.
The water rose above the jetty just outside of Montauk Harbor early on Monday, and the waves were pounding the shoreline, including Culloden Point, all day. Photographs sent in from readers also show Mulford Lane in Amagansett, out by Lazy Point, experiencing significant flooding. Water breached Gerard Drive in Springs earlier on Monday, according to fire department officials.
It appears it was only a rumor that the Napeague Stretch was breached, in that the ocean was connecting with the bay, on Monday. Water just started to come up on the stretch, by the state park entrance on the west side of Napeague early Monday evening.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said that he is very concerned about the northside of Montauk and will be watching closely the homes along Soundview Drive and Captain Kidd's Path, an area that has long dealt with severe erosion that undermines the structural integrity of the houses.
The supervisor mentioned that another street on the northside of Napeague was breached earlier on Monday — perhaps leading to the rumor that Montauk was now an island.
Joe Gaviola, who was sitting in his car at the parking lot at Gosman's on Monday afternoon, said it's the "gnarliest" he's ever seen it with winds between 50 and 70 knots for most of the day. "The water to the left of the jetty is actually surfable," he said.
He opened Gaviola's Montauk Market on the docks at 7 a.m., and though he lost power twice so far, he planed to stay open until 6 p.m. He said he was busy all day. "All the guys are checking their boats. It's a good place to warm up, have a cup of coffee and talk." He plans to open up on Tuesday morning at 7, too.
The water in the harbor has risen above the docks almost everywhere — including at the Montauk Marine Basin and the Montauk Yacht Club, Gaviola said. "The boats that are left in the water, tide to the docks, are over the docks," he said, adding that high tide was still four hours away at that point. "The level of water is what's really scary."
Gaviola took a ride to Soundview Drive and Captain Kidd's Path in Montauk, just west of the jetty on Block Island Sound.
During the Christmas 2010 nor'easter, one house was teetering on the edge of falling into the water, but was saved thanks to emergency efforts to shore up the foundation.
While Gaviola said that the bulkheads are taking "a continual pounding," the newer ones — such as the one at the house that was compromised in 2010 — appear to be holding up, though still too soon to tell how bad the erosion is.
Gaviola lives on Lake Montauk, on a property his parents used to own back in the 1970s. "I've been here off and on for over 40 some odd years, and these are the highest water levels I've ever seen," he said.
Earlier, he was driving on West Lake Drive and a screen door blew right over the hood of his car — a few feet difference and it would have hit his passenger window.