Weather Alert  

COASTAL FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 3 PM EST SUNDAY... ...COASTAL FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON ...COASTAL FLOODING EXPECTED SUNDAY INTO MONDAY... The National Weather Service in New York NY has issued a Coastal Flood Warning, which is in effect from 9 AM to 3 PM EST Sunday. * LOCATIONS...Southwestern Suffolk and Southern Nassau. * TIMING...For the Coastal Flood Warning, from 9 AM to 3 PM EST Sunday. For the Coastal Flood Watch, from Sunday night through Monday afternoon. * COASTAL FLOOD IMPACTS...There is an elevated threat of property damage. Widespread flooding of vulnerable areas is expected near the waterfront and shoreline. Expect 1 to 3 feet of inundation above ground level in low lying, vulnerable areas. This will result in numerous road closures and cause widespread flooding of low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes and businesses with basements near the waterfront. Vehicles parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront will likely become flooded. Flooding will also extend inland from the waterfront along tidal rivers and bays. * SHORELINE IMPACTS...The combination of elevated water levels and high surf along the ocean beachfront should also result in significant beach erosion and localized splashovers around the times of high tide. * OUTLOOK...Minor coastal flooding and additional beach erosion are also possible around the times of high tide from Monday night into Tuesday.

Following House Vote, Senate Expected to Approve Sandy Aid

The hard part is over. After months of debate, Tuesday's Senate vote is expected to finally approve the much-needed federal storm relief New Yorkers have been waiting for.

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The $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package passed by the House earlier this week is expected to pass quickly through the Senate following a vote on Tuesday.  The total aid will exceed just $60 billion when added to the $9.7 billion that was approved in early January following the fiscal cliff face-off that stalled aid negotiations.

The bill was approved 241-180, and many pundits were quick to point out that nearly every Republican lawmaker from states that were not impacted by the storm voted against the bill, joined by only one Democrat.  These lawmakers argued that the bill was too expensive, though it is far less than the $80 billion in aid that was approved following Hurricane Katrina.  
Tuesday’s vote is expected to come with little controversy as the Senate has already voted to approve Sandy relief, 62-32, on Dec. 28 in favor of President Obama’s $60.4 billion aid package.  The vote was invalidated after the 113th Congress took office on Jan. 3 and the House failed to hold a vote while it was mixed up in the fiscal cliff debate.  
Rep. Peter King has been a vocal advocate of the relief package.  The Congressman was outraged when the House failed to vote before the 113th Congress was sworn in, saying on Jan. 2:  “...what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace."
The money will go to helping people whose homes or businesses were damaged or destroyed during the storm, and for fortifying bridges and roads.  Billions of dollars are already slated for projects that would mitigate the impact of future storms.  Not all are on board for this type of spending, and that’s not just Republican lawmakers.
Speaking to NPR, Western Carolina University geologist Rob Young suggested these government subsidies would be misspent to rebuild particular coastlines.  As storms strengthen and become more common in the future, the cost of rebuilding these areas will increase as well.  
“We're going to have to do it more frequently in the future and it's going to get more expensive,” Young told NPR, suggesting that first, studies be completed to determine if floodgates will serve their intended purposes, and if wetlands would be a better substitute for rebuilding beaches.  
Gov. Andrew Cuomo empaneled the NYS2100 Commission following Hurricane Sandy to investigate ways to improve the state’s infrastructure with climate change in mind.  You can read about the Commission’s suggestions here.
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