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Long Island Preparing For Potential Flooding, Power Outages As Winds Pick Up

BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- People on Long Island prepared for the possibility of Tuesday's heavy rain leading to severe flooding, especially in coastal areas.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, strong winds were also a concern.

During the overnight hours and early Tuesday, Nassau and Suffolk counties were doused with about 10 hours of significant rainfall.

Areas like Wantagh saw flooding on roads due to the heavy precipitation, coupled with clogged storm drains. Though CBS2 did not see any vehicles get stuck in high water, it was a difficult morning commute for many due to slippery conditions aided by falling leaves, and ponding in parts of Nassau, where 16 crashes were reported. Suffolk reported 23 crashes.

Watch CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff's noon report:

Winds started to pick up just after noon.

"So the ground is saturated [and] with high winds, we're looking out for the potential of falling trees, falling limbs, downed power lines. We've only had a couple of dozen so far, power outages in Nassau County, so that is going well. But we are monitoring the storm very closely," County Executive Laura Curran said.

To report an outage or a downed wire, PSEG Long Island's 24-hour number is 800-490-0075.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency.

"As commuters come home this evening, those who are out on the roads, we're urging extreme caution. We're expecting that the winds from this storm will be picking up significantly this evening," Bellone said. "So we want to make sure that people are aware and prepared as they come home."

Babylon business owners were listening and adjust their schedules with every storm, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported.

"We just hope everybody is safe. Is this going to be the future? We don't know and it's very concerning," said Raymond Auer of Glen's Diner.

Residents said climate change is on their minds.

"The mayor's office puts out a memo the night before saying if you want to move your cars to parking lots north of Montauk Highway," homeowner Ron Marino said.

Watch CBS2's Jennifer McLogan's 5 p.m. report:

Earlier, visibility was dangerously poor as McLogan drove east and north to Port Jefferson village. The Long Island Rail Road said to expect delays and the Cross Sound Ferry was canceling evening trips.

"I get nervous because last time it rained really badly. My car got completely hydro-locked," Port Jefferson resident Amy Smith said.

During Ida, the historic Theatre Three on Main Street was walloped by flood waters.

"That was all downstairs. We cleared everything out. It took us three and a half hours to get this whole lower level ready for anything," the Theatre Three's Jeffrey Sanzel said.

The piano was put on risers, costumes and wigs were placed bags and bins, and now the show will go on, resuming with a Wednesday matinee.

As CBS2's Ali Bauman reports, flood water was rising on some streets at Sandspit Marina near Patchogue Bay on Tuesday night after a consistent rain.

After hours of rainfall, there were some streets flooding in areas of Westhampton, as well as Mastic Beach.

Both county executives focused on the wind, and not as much on the high tides. On the North Shore, officials said the possibility of flooding is not as great as originally thought, although there is still the danger of flash flooding. They are reminding residents that if they see an area flooded not to try to drive through it. Thousands of cars were lost that way during the remnants of Ida.

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan and Ali Bauman contributed to this report.

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