Update, 9:00 a.m.: East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said, "This is the calm before the storm."
After driving around with Village Superintendent of Public Works Scott Fithian, the mayor said the worst is yet to come: "There's still a lot in front of us."
The ocean tide is already high, with high tide still an hour away in East Hampton, so barricades have been placed at the entrances of Main Beach and Georgica Beach to keep the public away. "For the sake of public safety, we've closed it off, he said.
8:30 a.m. "It's just kicking in Montauk," said East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson as he sat in his car at the Gosman's parking lot on Monday morning just after 8.
"The water is literally coming across the jetty right now," he said from the north side of the hamlet. "The wind is swirling around from the north-northeast," he said, as he headed down Soundview Drive to check out how the houses were faring along the sound.
As of 8:30 a.m., the storm has taken down several live wires, causing about 200 outages so far — the largest chunk of 85 in Amagansett and the second large, 57, on Long Lane, according to the LIPA Storm Outages website.
Schools are closed across the Town of East Hampton, and a shelter at East Hampton High School opened for residents this morning.
While Hurricane Sandy has just begun to pound the South Fork, it's already reeking havoc on the oceanfront and bay beaches. "It's disappointing, this early, that it's doing this much damage — the beaches are practically gone already," he said of the ocean beaches in Montauk.
Georgica Beach — which experienced crippling erosion during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, causing the closure of the bathing beach before it replenished itself over the summer — is also getting pounded. Check out the picture above.
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On Sunday, the town highway department placed piles of sand, several feet high, to try and block the storm water surge from flooding the streets, particularly South Emerson Avenue in Montauk, the Ditch Plains area and Napeague Meadow Lane.
But, the water table is already high. Wilkinson said the commercial fishing boats in Lake Montauk are already hitting the top of the docks. A high moon tide, expected on Monday evening, will make matters worse, he said.
The supervisor said he's been up since quarter to 5 and hasn't left Montauk yet, though he's planning on going into Town Hall, which is opened on Monday.
Still, Wilkinson has a message for residents: Stay off the roads. "While this may be a great display of Mother Nature's fury, it's not something to witnesses down at the beaches. This is a very dangerous storm."
Check back for more updates throughout the day.