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"Coastal Flood Warning" ...Coastal Flood Warning now in effect from 7 PM to 11 PM EST Monday... * locations...low lying areas along western Long Island Sound. * Tidal departures...3 1/2 to 4 1/2 ft above astronomical tides in the evening. * Timing...moderate coastal flooding around the times of astronomical high tide...between 7 PM and 11 PM. * Coastal flood impacts...potential for widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and adjacent properties due to height of storm tide and wave action. Inundation of 1 to 2 ft in the lowest lying spots. Road closures may be needed. Isolated structural damage may be observed along the immediate shoreline. * Shoreline impacts...elevated water levels in combination with 3 to 5 ft of surf are expected to cause beach erosion and splashover along the shoreline Monday evening. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A coastal Flood Warning means that flooding is expected or occurring. Coastal residents in the warned area should be alert for rising water...and take appropriate action to protect life and property. ...Western l.I. Sound water levels for Monday evening... Coastal............time of......forecast total......flood..... Location...........high Tide.....Water level........category.. ...................................(Mllw/mhhw)................ Kings Point NY.......859 PM....10.6-11.1/2.8-3.3.....Min-mod.. Stamford CT..........821 PM....10.0-10.5/2.2-2.7.....Minor.... Bridgeport CT........818 PM.....9.5-10.0/2.2-2.7.....Minor.... New Haven CT.........817 PM......8.9-9.6/2.2-2.7.....Minor.... Old Field NY.........820 PM......9.3-9.8/2.0-2.5.....Min-mod.. Glen Cove NY.........900 PM....10.2-10.7/2.3-2.8.....Min-mod.. , "High Wind Warning" ...High Wind Warning remains in effect from 1 am Monday to 1 am EST Tuesday... * winds...northeast 30 to 40 mph with gusts 60 to 70 mph. * Timing...winds could begin gusting as high as 45 mph just before daybreak Monday. The strongest winds are expected Monday afternoon and evening. * High wind impacts...damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Numerous power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult...especially for high profile vehicles and on elevated roadway and bridges. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A High Wind Warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. , "Storm Warning" ...Storm Warning remains in effect from 1 am Monday to 1 am EST Tuesday... * winds and seas...northeast winds 25 to 35 kt with gusts up to 60 kt. Seas 6 to 10 feet. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Storm Warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts of 48 to 63 kt are expected or occurring. Recreational boaters should remain in port...or take shelter until winds and waves subside. Commercial vessels should prepare for very strong winds and dangerous sea conditions...and consider remaining in port or taking shelter in port until winds and waves subside. -- Sunday Jan.22 17,11:24 PM

A Fun Start to the Summer: The Best Kid-Friendly Beaches to Visit this Week

With many students having half days or full days off, hit the beach before the summer rush and enjoy these beaches that offer more than just sun and sand.

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Children across Long Island will be wrapping up the school year this week, and many will have half days and days off.  Make the most out of their time off and kick-start your summer with an outing to one of the Island’s best child-friendly beaches.  These are the beaches that have something to keep everyone occupied, including playgrounds and picnic areas.  They are also convenient, and some offer changing facilities or are close to restaurants or beach huts to grab food when the kids get hungry. Be sure to check out our checklist for packing your beach bag before you go, and don’t forget that sunscreen!  Here is a sampling of some of the best beaches in Nassau County and Suffolk County for kids:

Suffolk County

Hither Hills State Park
Hither Hills State Park in Montauk has a beach, picnic areas with barbecues, and a beachside campground for families to enjoy for an afternoon trip after school lets out.  Hither Hills will also be hosting its 2014 Sand Castle Contest on Thursday, June 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., but if your kids are still in school, you can partake in this contest any Thursday until August 28.   There are prizes in several categories, so you never know if you might win that week.  Your little athletic ones can also enjoy a game of catch on the softball field, or a bit of volleyball on the beach’s volleyball courts.  In case you run out of sunscreen or forget the snacks, there is a general store on premises with food, toys, and beach essentials.

Sunken Meadow State Park
After school, take the kids to Sunken Meadow’s 3/4 mile-long boardwalk, where they can run, bike, and rollerblade while looking at the calm waves of the Long Island Sound.  Sunken Meadow, located in Kings Park, is an ideal location for a family picnic on a half day, and is in fact one of the largest picnic parks on the island.  The beach also has a playground and fishing for some run-around or one-to-one time.

Cedar Beach
If your kids are off of school one day this week, get them up early and pack the fishing rods and bait to teach the kids how to fish off of the nearby fishing pier at this Mount Sinai beach, or let the kids loose on the playground located right on the beach.  If the sun becomes too much for the little ones, take them on a stroll down the paved walkway through the woods to the nature center, which is free for visitors and offers touch tanks and other hands-on exhibits.

Nassau County:

Jones Beach
This week, families can get a head start on swimming and sunbathing at Jones Beach before the summer rush fully sets in.  At Jones Beach, families can park at Field 6, which has the shortest walk from a parking field to the water.  Parents can pack kites to fly, or just bring the kids to the playground, which is lighted so they can play into the evening.  Field 6 fills up quickly on the weekends, so be sure to arrive early to get a parking spot. For families with small children, head to Zach’s Bay for calmer waters that are still watched over by lifeguards.

Nickerson Beach Park
Are your kids not necessarily “beach people,” but they like to go out and enjoy the sun?  Nickerson Beach in Lido Beach is one of the largest beaches for families to enjoy, with 155 acres of recreational land, and a half-mile-long beachfront, and it also includes a “Fun Zone” with a playground, basketball courts, and a skate park with seven ramps of varying difficulty.  There are also two soccer fields, a baseball field, and six beach volleyball courts.

Charles E. Ransom Beach
Pack up your buckets and shovels and make some sand castles on Charles E. Ransom Beach in Bayville.  This beach overlooks the Long Island Sound, and the short waves make it a great choice for parents with small children.  If the kids are tired of the water, they can enjoy the nearby playground.  Make sure you keep the sand at the beach and take advantage of the outdoor showers before you go.