Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh started to take a pounding from the effects of Hurricane Sandy Monday morning hours before the storm is scheduled to strike the New York City region.
New York State Parks spokesman George Gorman said just after 11 a.m. Monday that much of Jones Beach has already seen "extensive flooding" following high tide conditions. Gorman said the administrative parking field as well as Jones Beach Pitch and Putt Course and miniature golf areas are under water with extensive flooding also occurring at Zach's Bay. The orchestra seating section of the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater is also "submerged" by flooding and the entrance way to the music venue is under one to two feet of water, Gorman said.
In an attempt to minimize flooding damage, Gorman said sand bags were placed next to entrances of buildings by the beach. He also said beach equipment was removed and electrical will be shut down for much of the park as a safety precaution later Monday.
Gorman said he expects damage at Jones Beach from Hurricane Sandy to be worst than Tropical Storm Irene due to much of the storm striking at high tide. Weather officials are forecasting the worst of the storm on Long Island to be between 6 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday.
"We are very concerned," Gorman said.
Jones Beach is closed to the public and Gorman urged people to stay away from the area. He also added that the drawbridge on the Wantagh State Parkway by the entrance to the Jones Beach Water Tower has also experienced flooding and motorists would have a tough time entering the park as a result.