A state of emergency was declared locally over the Labor Day holiday as abnormally cold temperatures, high winds and drenching rains hit one of the most anticipated, and lucrative, weekends of the summer.
Police say roadways were jammed early Sunday as disappointed visitors, despairing of getting a decent Hamptons beach day or enjoying a final Hamptons summer sunset pool party, ended their vacations early and headed slowly and dejectedly back west for the start of the school year.
Realizing that many visitors would have come here for the weekend supplied with only summer clothes and bathing suits, emergency personnel worked tirelessly to supply those in need with sweatshirts and long pants.
“Not everybody looks at the forecast,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says. “So when the temperature went down to the 50s and the cold rain started coming down, thanks to the quick thinking of our emergency personnel we were able to get people the appropriate attire.”
Hirsch allowed that some of those who required emergency services were to some degree responsible for their own situation, but defended the police actions as a humanitarian response.
“We’re not going to let somebody freeze to death in early September in the Hamptons,” Hirsch adds.
As this catastrophe unfolded, those who were left behind to brave the elements witnessed the surreal confluence of vacant ocean beaches on a summer Sunday and local restaurants with available Sunday brunch reservations.
Meanwhile, businesses that rely on summer visitors for the bulk of their profits reported that their weekend takes were down precipitously. Hirsch said that, while there were scattered reports of price-gouging on items like winter hats and gloves, no prosecutions are expected.