Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ernesto Creates Havoc in Sheepshead Bay

Winds gusting to 70, 15-foot tidal surges, destroyed docks and sunken boats is what Ernesto brought to Sheepshead Bay this weekend.

The wind came into the Sheepshead Bay from the East, which is the only unprotected side and the one that leads into the Rockaway Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. High tide came in around 2:30 p.m., because of the winds the tides were higher then usual and there were four foot, square choppy waves in Sheepshead Bay. The floating docks rippled like a xylophone in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. The strength of the easterly winds prevented the tide from flowing out, keeping the waters high in Sheepshead Bay. This is when the mayhem started.

From 4:30 p.m. on Saturday until 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the winds blew steady at 48 knots and were gusting to 70. The easterly winds were so strong that they prevented the tide to flow out of the Sheepshead Bay, causing a storm surge more than 10 feet as high tide came in at 1:30 a.m. The storm caused 7 boats to come off their moorings, destroying two of them and we hear one of the Sheepshead Bay fishing fleet was sunk by mighty Ernesto (we're not sure which one). One of the local clubs had 3 main docks and around a dozen finger docks destroyed (we're not sure of the total damage in the bay) The old-timers who've sailed out of Sheepshead Bay for more that 50 years, say this is one of the worst storms on record. The rebuilding has already started.

A very calm Sheepshead Bay (we don't have any images of the storm damage yet)


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