As Hurricane Bill heads north and not too close to our shores, there are still concerns about rip currents from the storm. The Parks Department said that it is "closing Rockaway Beach, Coney Island Beach, Manhattan Beach, South Beach, Midland Beach and Wolfe’s Pond Beach to swimming due to the approaching hurricane. Orchard Beach in the Bronx remains open assuming conditions do not deteriorate and the city’s 63 pools and 650 spray showers offer opportunities to cool off."
The Parks Department notes that possible impact from Bill "include[s] heavy surf, rip currents, coastal erosion, beach-over washes, and minor coastal flooding." There have been a number of drownings this summer so far (including a few at night, when lifeguards are not on duty). Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said, "As weather conditions are changing quickly, it is essential that people not enter the water at closed beaches. As always, beachgoers must obey the instructions of lifeguards, Police and other Parks and security personnel."
The National Weather Service said that at Long Island's South Shore beaches, there's a high risk of rip currents—"these rip currents will be life-threatening to anyone who enters the surf ... Do not swim in unsupervised areas." And in NJ, officials don't expect to close beaches—they also expect the surfers to be out in full force.