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Hermine Makes Gradual Push In Direction Of Shore

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Tropical Storm Hermine was pushing slowly toward the shores of the Tri-State Area late Monday, and concerns persisted despite another largely sunny day.

Late Monday, Hermine was twisting hundreds of miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean. CBS2's Lonnie Quinn reported as of 11 p.m., the storm was generating winds of 65 mph, was heading to the west northwest at 9 mph.

Hermine was 120 miles southeast of Montauk, Long Island as of 11 p.m.

But Hermine was expected to move closer to shore and linger there for 24 hours or more – though it is also expected to weaken during that time. Still, CBS2's Quinn said Tuesday would likely be the worst day for the area when it comes to the storm.

Tropical storm warnings remained in effect for coastal areas in the Tri-State.

CHECK: Forecast & Alerts| PHOTOS: Hermine Churns Waves On Jersey Shore

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie warned late Monday that tropical storm-force winds were still possiblein his state. He also warned that minor to moderate flooding was still likely in coastal areas and said the storm will cause major problems, even as it tracks away from land.

"Don't be lulled by the nice weather,'' Christie said, referring to the bright sunny skies along the Jersey Shore on Sunday. "Don't think that nothing is going to happen, because something is going to happen.''

Homeowners in New Jersey were glad that Hermine stayed offshore and did not cause nearly as much damage as it could have. CBS2's Meg Baker checked out a few towns in Monmouth County where beaches remained closed.

In Avon by the Sea, massive waves crashed over the jetty onto the beach. Two men in a row got caught in a swell trying hard to row back into the Belmar inlet.

Kayaking and other water sports were not recommended in such conditions.

"Kind of scary, because we knew what Sandy did and what could happen from a big storm like that," said Gianna Cretella of Belmar.

High tide nearly reached the sand berm put in place to protect homes from any coastal flooding. Lake Como, which comes close to the beach, was pumped out to lower it just in case.

Sea Girt resident Eileen Kehoe said it is better to be safe than sorry.

"Prepared was not the word," Kehoe said. "All the lounge chairs were put away and all our awnings – we rolled them all up on windows, but it was just wonderful thought to feel that it did not come."

On Perrine Boulevard in Manasquan, homeowners near the Glimmer Glass were keeping a close watch on a storm drain across the river.

"You see the sewer back there? If it's past that, the streets will start to flood," said Jimmy McCutchen of Manasquan.

McCutchen's family raised their home after Sandy, but was still taking extra precautions Monday night.

"We usually move the cars out a few streets," he said.

The beaches in Manasquan were closed again on Monday, so instead of going into the ocean, some surfers tried riding the waves in the Manasquan River at Fisherman's Cove as the sun went down.

Meanwhile, some residents were just happy the storm warnings cleared visitors out.

"It was a real locals' weekend -- a lot of space down here for us," said Steve Peckman of Manasquan.

But the ocean had picked up late Monday, and officials emphasized that the risk persisted.

"At least for the next 24 hours, you know, keep your cars – if you're in a low-lying area, move your car to the ground here east of the railroad tracks," said Manasquan Council President Owen McCarthy.

New York City closed its beaches Monday because of rip currents. The ban has extended into Tuesday, officials said.

The few people who spent Labor Day on Rockaway Beach were eating, playing or just ignoring the scenery, CBS2's Elise Finch reported.

"A lot of us who live here are used to being out on the beach in all sorts of weather," said Eve Bohlin of Rockaway Park. "For a lot of us this is just a nice day to take a walk."

But many said it was best to heed the signs and red flags ordering people to stay out of the water.

"I just think it's better to be safe than sorry in this day and age, because some people go in and we have some incidents where people can't make it out of the water," said Gerald Sullivan of Breezy Point.

"We also live in a world where people sue for anything. If somebody drowns then there's a lawsuit," said Paul Cynamon of Sunnyside. "You can't blame the city for not wanting to allow that to happen and for protecting themselves."

Lifeguards and Parks Department security guards were successful in keeping swimmers out of the water at Beach 116th Street on Rockaway Beach. But paddleboarders and surfers went in anyway.

At Beach 91st Street, there were dozens more hanging ten and raving about the waves.

"The condition is good," said Helenildo Costa of Astoria, Queens. "The wind is blowing in a good way and t's just great!"

"This is like a perfect storm for the surf, and normally we don't get waves this quality and that's why we're out here," said John Gutierrez of the Rockaways.

Police were present on the beach all weekend long, and surfers said they were issued tickets. But an NYPD representative said surfing is not a violation of any law even if beaches are closed.

But officers can issue tickets if surfers violate other park rules such as disorderly conduct. Some say that is just a ploy to keep people out of the water.

Meanwhile at the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, it was almost perfect Tuesday except for those pesky red flags declaring the water off limits, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

"If they let me, I will go swimming, but sadly, it's closed up here," said one man named Gustavo.

A man named Rick at least got to enjoy one last day in the sand.

"You always want to keep the summer going as long as possible," he said. "I'm always sad when the summer's over, always."

And on Long Island, eight-foot waves were churning at Robert Moses State Park in Suffolk County, and the beach remained empty on Labor Day, with only the hearty and curious coming out to witness the power of mother nature, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

There was a breathtaking sunset from Point Lookout in Nassau County late Monday, but despite the view, the area remained under a flood advisory, CBS2's Valerie Castro reported.

But Dolores Patrissi of Point Lookout said she was not worried about flooding. Patrissi has had a home there for the last 30 years, and she said they were spared by Superstorm Sandy.

"It's a little dark out there, but I don't think it's going to be bad at all," Patrissi said. "We'll just have beach erosion maybe."

Out at Bergen Point in Babylon, some still took to the water late on the day -- by boat and even jet-ski. Residents in the area said they are prepared, but not worried.

"Usually all of Long Island goes out for milk, bread and gas, so we have all that in the house, as long as you're covered on those bases, that's about it," said Kathy O'Malley.

Meanwhile, Lindenhurst residents had piled up sand and pulled boats from the water, but high tide Monday saw bay waters barely spilling into the low-lying streets.

"We are relieved a little water in the street we can deal with, but in the house we can't," said Joe Tree of Lindenhurst.

Of course, it was a relief that the area was not going to get slammed, since the area is still suffering four years after Superstorm Sandy.

Hermine tracked hundreds of miles off Long Island, but still stirred up ocean waters with eight-foot waves. Red flags kept swimmers out of the water at all oceanfront state parks, and even surfers were asked to play it safe – but that did not stop some.

"It's dangerous," said Robert Moses State Park lifeguard Capt. Gregory Wood. "They can also get knocked out or hit with the board. They could also break a neck a back."

On Fire Island, where the long holiday weekend was cut short with a since-lifted voluntary evacuation, ocean waters submerged stretches of beach while the bay poured over bulkheads into the town of Ocean Beach. But no homes were flooded.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the night tide cycle could still bring isolated minor flooding, but believes the county dodged a bullet.

"We have seen here the full fury of Mother Nature with Superstorm Sandy – a storm that was worse than predicted," Bellone said. "So when you have a storm that's less than predicted, that's a good thing."

Erosion was still to be a concern through the night. Already late Monday, the storms had taken a bite out of a stretch of Robert Moses Park sand that just recently had been replenished, as WCBS 880's Stephanie Colombini reported.

"It's a good thing we replenished that sand, because otherwise you and I would be underwater," said New York State Parks Department Deputy Commissioner George Gorman. "So we haven't seen a significant amount – if that's the case, great."

Residents in downtown Riverhead were keeping an eye on the tide and the water's edge, WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs reported.

"We don't need the flooding," one resident said.

In Nassau County, officials have issued a storm surge warning for areas prone to flooding, but some thrill-seeking surfers ignored the warnings.

Nassau County police said patrolling lifeguards had to pull several people out of the water to safety on Sunday.

Hermine rose up over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia.

It has caused two deaths, inflicted widespread property damage and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people from Florida to Virginia.

The Anclote River northwest of Tampa was forecast to go well into major flood stage Sunday afternoon. Emergency managers issued mandatory evacuations for some low-lying mobile home parks and apartment buildings.

Since sea levels have risen up to a foot due to global warming, the storm surges pushed by Hermine could be even more damaging, climate scientists say.

Michael Mann at Pennsylvania State University noted that this century's 1-foot sea-level rise in New York City meant 25 more square miles flooded during Superstorm Sandy, causing billions in additional damage.

"We are already experiencing more and more flooding due to climate change in every storm,'' said Michael Oppenheimer, a geosciences professor at Princeton University. "And it's only the beginning.''

On Saturday, high winds tipped over an 18-wheeler, killing its driver and shutting down the U.S. 64 bridge in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Earlier in Florida, a homeless man died from a falling tree.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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