A Rough Day, Then a Sigh of Relief

Waves Spilled Into Montauk Streets, Trees Lost, But Impact Not Severe
Montauk motel, Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28 2001
An oceanfront motel in Montauk was seen at low tide following the departure of Irene. David E. Rattray

    Tropical storm Irene, as it pulled north into New England, left roiling seas and downed trees across the South Fork, but it appeared to have spared the region the severe damage that had been feared.


    Power remained out for about a quarter of the residents of East Hampton Town. In a conference call for reporters, the Long Island Power Authority said it was dispatching repair crews at 4 on Sunday afternoon, after winds began to subside.


    In Montauk, members of a town ocean rescue squad were posted at beach accesses to keep away the curious. The ocean did surge during the worst of the storm, with waves and foam spilling along some oceanside streets and around buildings in some low-lying areas of the business district, and some loss of dunes was observable, but structural losses appeared to be limited.


    In Amagansett and East Hampton Village, the story was that of toppled trees and fallen limbs. Part of a tall pine lay across the driveway at the Amagansett School. A tree lay akimbo on the roof of the East Hampton Historical Society. Erosion on Gardiner's Bay appeared to be minimal.


   Larger trees and sections of trees fell in East Hampton and Sag Harbor; many of these appeared to be older trees that showed visible signs of rot or weakness. Crews from Suffolk County, the Town of East Hampton, and the Village of East Hampton initially pushed limbs and trunks from the road, in some places returning later to cut them up.