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Hurricane Dorian: NYC Beaches Closed To Swimming, Surfing Due To Rip Current Risks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hurricane Dorian is creating dangerous conditions at local beaches.

The storm has been downgraded to a Category 1, but it's still packing a punch off the coast of the Carolinas. It made landfall in Cape Hatteras, N.C. Friday morning at 8:35 a.m.

Swipe left to see more about Dorian's landfall and track

Hurricane Dorian Landfall
Hurricane Dorian Landfall
Hurricane Dorian Storm track

The National Weather Service expects possible ocean swells up to 10 feet in our area.

That's prompting warnings through the weekend.

All New York City beaches will be closed to swimming and surfing Friday and Saturday due to dangerous rip currents.

In the Rockaways in Queens, surfers defying the order to stay out of the water were confronted by a line of law enforcement to make sure the angry surf doesn't claim any lives.

Lifeguards and law enforcement are expected to patrol the coastline to enforce the ban.

The signs are easy to miss: Swimming and surfing are banned Friday and Saturday.

"Based on conditions projected by the National Weather Service, and in consultation with our sister agencies, Parks is closing all City beaches this Friday and Saturday," Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, said in a statement Thursday. "We implore New Yorkers to take the closures seriously and not to risk their safety by ignoring this directive and swimming and surfing while our shores are experiencing the impacts from Hurricane Dorian."

MORE: How You Can Help People, Pets Affected By The Storm

"They always say that," surfer Eva Diaz told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas. "It's been a conflict because most surfers are waiting for hurricane swell. Rockaway is such an inconsistent place to surf."

Less than an hour after after daybreak, more than a dozen surfers ignored the warning at Rockaway Beach.

"I think many surfers have a calculus of wanting storm swell, but not too close," said Diaz.

Despite red flags indicating a swimming hazard, one man went into the ocean for a dip. Dangerous rip currents are the biggest concern.

"The bigger issue that the community is worried about is erosion," said Eddy Pastor of Rockaway Beach. "A nor'easter will do erosion. We don't know what this storm is going to do."

On the Jersey Shore, Dorian is churning up huge waves, creating dangerous conditions at the beaches.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also urged residents to avoid the water.

"Along the beaches, we expect to see an elevated rip current risk," Murphy said. "In the midst of this, please stay off the beaches. The last thing any of us want is to have to send emergency help into the waters."

Manasquan Beach is closed, but tourists and locals alike were getting an up close look at the waves.

"It's pretty awesome. Pretty awesome. But you can see the power of the destruction," said Paule Kaempffer of Ramsey, Minnesota.

While the weather will improve over the weekend, the currents will be just as dangerous. That's the main concern of Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan.

"Stay out of the water no matter how good it looks or how nice the day is. Please stay out of the water. Because there's going to be a dangerous riptides as well as rough surf," Donovan said.

Point pleasant beaches are also closed over the weekend, and officials echo those warnings to stay out of the water. As waves swell up to 10 feet, rip currents lurk below.

"Lask week, about two and a half miles north of here, a 15-year-old boy lost his life because of the rip tides. The rip tides will pull you out. If you're not an experienced swimmer, and even if you are an experienced swimmer, it really can put you in jeopardy," Donovan said.

For Bernice Wren, the serenity of the crashing waves was all she came for.

"Definitely don't get in the water. You can sit. Enjoy the waves from afar, but if it really gets dangerous and serious then go home," she said.

Lifeguards and law enforcement will be up and down the coastline, enforcing the swimming and surfing ban.

If you're hoping to swim this weekend, New York City's parks department said 53 public pools will still be open.

Click here for more information on the ban, or here to find a public pool near you.

New York City beaches are expected to reopen Sunday.

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