Hurricane Bill forces city to close beaches in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island
BY ADAM LISBERG AND RICH SCHAPIRO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, August 21st 2009, 12:39 PM
Officials were forced to close Coney Island beach -- and several others -- due Hurricane Bill (below) in the Atlantic.
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The city is closing beaches in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island on Friday because of fears that Hurricane Bill will pound the shores with dangerous surf.
No one will be allowed to enter the waters off of Rockaway Beach, Coney Island Beach, Manhattan Beach, South Beach, Midland Beach and Wolfe's Pond Beach, officials said.
"As weather conditions are changing quickly, it is essential that people not enter the water at closed beaches," Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe said.
The Category 3 hurricane, expected to lash Bermuda on Friday afternoon, is already producing giant swells along the East Coast, officials said.
Although an official decision has not yet been made, the beaches will likely remain closed through the weekend.
Forecasters say the core of the storm is likely to pass over the waters between Bermuda and the East Coast Saturday, triggering 20-foot waves, rip currents and coastal flooding.
"We have a storm hitting Bermuda, and that will create big waves, big currents, dangerous conditions along the Jersey coast and the Long Island coast and the ocean side," Mayor Bloomberg said on his morning radio show.
City beaches have already seen their share of tragedies this summer.
Seven people have drowned since June, including six who lost their lives in the treacherous waters off the Rockaways.