Following Tuesday night’s rainstorm, Dune Road in East Quogue and Hampton Bays sustained extensive flooding, the likes of which have not been seen since the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, one resident said on Wednesday morning.
“Starting at the Quogue Surf Club, the benches were pushed back against the dune and the beach is gone,” professional photographer and Quogue resident Jeff Cully said, noting that he checked Dune Road at high tide on Wednesday. “Heading east, the water was almost up to the doors on my Expedition,” he added. “The bay and Dune Road had become one.”
Cully photographed various parts of the road, which looked remarkably like a river in some areas, and like a seamless continuation of the bay in others, with only telephone poles and a submerged double yellow line to mark it.
Water extended into residents’ driveways, even advancing beyond their stately front gates in some sections.
“I checked Dolphin Beach in East Quogue, which is where I go to fish,” Cully said. “The change was drastic.” He explained that he had been there on Monday night and everything was normal, but now the beach had eroded away in places and the water was up to the dunes.
The scene was the same farther east at Triton Beach and Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays, with “massive erosion” and waves pounding away at the shore.
East of Tiana Beach, Cully said he encountered a pair of stuck vehicles where the ocean had breached the dune and flooded Dune Road with water and several feet of sand. “Two four-by-fours tried to pass but were buried to their frames,” the photographer recalled.
“I killed a 10,000-pound tow strap while helping pull them out with a piece of machinery from a construction site down the road,” Cully said. “Actually, we used two straps and broke them both several times before freeing the four-by-fours,” he remarked, describing a group effort where everyone pitched in and eventually helped get the drivers back on their way.
“The breach in Hampton Bays is extensive and water was still flowing over for the hour I was there,” Cully continued, noting that he observed a smaller, yet damaging breach from the road in East Quogue. “My Expedition had no issues, but I was not going to try to pass the sand that is now piled up,” he said. “Even walking on it was dangerous and I sunk to above my knees,” the 6-foot-four-inch photographer warned, describing the events on Dune Road as further proof of “Mother Nature having her way” with East End beaches.
All photos by Jeff Cully/East End Fine Arts Services, EEFAS.com