The significant rainfall resulting from earlier this week left 19 permitted Nassau County beaches closed on Monday and Tuesday by the health department. The beaches were reopened on Wednesday. However, with up to two inches of rainfall predicted for today in some areas and a Flood Watch in effect for the North and South Shore of Long Island, running through Saturday morning, the beaches may face another short-term closure.
Such closures are necessary as a precautionary measure by the health department.
Heavy rainfall leads to significant groundwater runoff, resulting in a spike in bacteria levels. The waters may be contaminated with bacteria such as enterococci, which can cause gastrointestinal illness.
When bay beaches face a rainfall amount of half an inch or more over 24 hours, closures are necessary for two full tide cycles to run before reopening.
The bay waters are tested by the health department twice a week for signs of contamination and the collection of data has been going on for 40 years, according to reporting from Patch.com.
Beaches that were closed earlier this week included Centre Island (Sound), Creek Club, Lattingtown Beach, Laurel Hollow Beach, Morgan Sound, North Hempstead Beach Park, Piping Rock Beach Club, Prybil Beach, Ransom Beach, Roosevelt Beach, Sea Cliff Village Beach, Soundside Beach, Stehli Beach and Tappen Beach on the North Shore. Over on the South Shore, beaches closed include Biltmore Beach Club, Hewlett Point Beach, Island Park Beach, Merrick Estates Civic Association and Philip Healey Beach.
The latest information related to beach closures by the health department is available by calling (516) 227-9717.