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Elsa's Impact: Visitors Return To Long Beach After Storm's Relentless Rain, Wind Leave Long Island

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Tropical Storm Elsa arrived with heavy rain, wind gusts and flooding on Long Island overnight.

The boardwalk at Long Beach was deserted for most of the morning Friday - no visitors or tourists. But it turned into a picture-perfect day and was filling up by noon, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

Relentless rain pounded the area Thursday, making it impossible to stay dry. The wind was so gusty, even the bravest thrill seekers were kept at bay.

Locals, like Brian Braddish, refused to be intimidated . He braved the elements to hang an American flag.

"Every day the flags comes up and down, and people know we're open. When the flags are flying, people know that Riptides is open," Braddish said. "We've been through a lot down here in Long Beach. When you're an islander, you're an islander."


Elsa proved to be just as brutal inland. Downed branches brought traffic to a crawl on the Meadowbrook State Parkway.

The Long Island Rail Road had a similar problem when multiple fallen trees temporarily suspended service on the Oyster Bay Branch.

Flooding was so bad by Nassau University Medical Center that a crossing guard warned drivers and people not to cross. Many drivers who did, got stuck.

"Yeah, they got towed," Charan Adhwal said. "They called, maybe 911. The police officers, they came, they closed that street and then they called the tow trucks and they towed the car."

WATCH: Nassau County Exec. Laura Curran On Flooding Concerns

Crews worked feverishly into the morning in Hempstead to keep up with the storm damage.

Town Supervisor Don Clavin said the coast isn't necessarily in the clear, even though skies may be.

"We've had heavy wind earlier in the week, and rain," Clavin said. "We've had a tremendous amount of rain, particularly this morning. If there's more this afternoon, that is a concern, especially with the areas that puddle and get wet. So we're monitoring those too."

Before Elsa's arrival, officials warned people not to underestimate the storm. Last year, Tropical Storm Isaias toppled massive trees and left parts of Long Island without power for weeks.

About 9,000 customers on Long Island were still without power around noon because of Elsa. Most had power restored by Friday evening.

PSEG Long Island brought in about 1,000 extra crews ahead of the storm to help with the restoration. It also introduced a new app that can be used to report power outages and provide information about restoration times.

The utility came under fire last year for poor communication and slow response times after Isaias.

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.

Close To 4 Inches Of Rain Flooded Roads In Old Brookville

It was tough getting around Old Brookville on Friday. The intersection of Brookville and Bowden Lanes turned into a deceptively deep pond.

Drivers found themselves stranded. Some told CBS2 there was no way to avoid taking the chance and driving through the water.

"It always floods no matter what, even when there's like a small downpour. But this is, I've never seen, as bad as this," said resident Jack Alletto.

"Trees are down, roads are blocked. It's really bad," said Bronx resident Eric Acheampong. "To everybody out there, you are coming over here to Long Island, you need to be very careful."

Elsa dropped close to four inches of rain in the area Friday morning.

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