Shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Strong's Neck region of Setauket as Hurricane Irene approaches.
Jackie Rudman, president of the Strong's Neck Civic Association, attributed the evacuation to the potential for heavy flooding on Dyke Road, the main access road in and out of Strong's Neck.
"The main concern is that Dyke Road will wash out and emergency vehicles won't be able to get in," she said.
Flooding on Dyke Road has not been a major issue in recent years since the road was raised. During Hurricane Gloria, Dyke Road flooded and trees were downed on Maple Road.
Rudman said Brookhaven town sent out an automated phone message informing residents of the evacuation, and that friends would likely be calling other friends to help spread the word. In addition, the Setauket Fire Department has been circulating the neighborhood to inform residents of the mandatory evacuation.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has issued for several beaches in Strong's Neck, including Bayberry Cove Beach, Bayview Beach, Grantland Beach Little Bay Beach, and Indian Field Association Beach. The advisory cautions against bathing at beaches for 48 hours after the rainfall stops due to possible elevated levels of bacteria.
Brookhaven declared a state of emergency on Thursday at 5 p.m. According to state law, an emergency declaration allows town leaders to declare such measures for their respective municipalities such as a curfew, evacuation zones, emergency shelters, and opening and closing of roads to the public, among others.