LONG BEACH, N.Y. (PIX11) — Just in time for the holiday weekend, almost all beaches in the tri-state area reopened on Friday, after rip currents and high bacteria levels had shut many of them down, for days in some cases. Still, just because the oceanfronts were back open officially, it did not mean that the hazards have completely gone away. Officials warned beachgoers to be alert as the weekend unfolds.

At Long Beach in Nassau County, red flags were posted at each lifeguard station all morning long on Friday, warning people to not enter the rough, churning waters.

Eager beachgoers like Caroline Wagner said that they were disappointed.

“I was planning on swimming,” she said, “but if we’re not allowed in, we’re not allowed in. I’ll just lay out under the umbrella, I guess.”

M.J. Lopez was seated on her beach blanket next to a friend. She, too, was also resigned to not being able to get deep into the surf.

“I’ll go in to my ankles,” she said.

However, around 1 p.m. on Friday, lifeguards concluded that people could enter the water on a limited basis. They posted green flags, fairly close to one another, at various points along the beach. It meant that it was safe to be in the water between the green flags, and not anywhere else. Each safe swimming area was only about 30 yards wide.

“That’s OK. Thirty yards is good,” said Dana Teller, who’d come to the beach from White Plains in Westchester County to spend the day with friends.

“I can’t wait to go and dive in,” she continued. “I love it.”

She and her friends had rejected going to beaches near their Westchester County homes because high levels of bacteria had been detected in the waters on the beaches there earlier this week. On Friday, though, tests showed that those levels had declined significantly, and those beaches reopened, as well.

Back on Long Beach, Teller and her daughter ran into the surf minutes after the green flags were posted. Minutes after that, though, lifeguards had to warn people that they couldn’t go into the water past their waists because of the rip current. It’s possible for the current, fueled by Hurricane Franklin and the remnants of Hurricane Idalia in the Atlantic, to pull people out to sea as much as half a mile.

It’s why staying near lifeguards while in the water is vital.

However, over the holiday weekend, the lifeguard situation is also challenging, as Eric Peterson, the administrator of Rockaway Park Beaches for the New York City Parks Department, said at a morning news conference.

“This time of year,” he said, “a lot of our lifeguards are going back to school, so our lifeguard numbers are down.”

The city had already had a shortage of lifeguards, that’s now even more intense. As a result, Peterson said, “We’re probably about 50 percent of the beach open for swimming right now.”

The rip currents are expected to calm over the weekend. That, along with sunny skies forecast through the holiday, has vendors and other businesses optimistic about financial receipts in the days ahead.

Brian Braddish owns The Rip Tides, a beachside restaurant along the boardwalk in Long Beach. He said that even with a rough surf, pleasant weather will be good for business.

“The month of June was a lot of rain, you know?” Braddish said. “I think everybody’s happy to end Labor Day weekend with a bang, with the weather.”

Pleasant weather is expected to complement improving water conditions at tri-state beaches, almost all of which have reopened.

New York state beaches — Hither Hills, Jones Beach, and Robert Moses — reopened Friday morning. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s website on Friday showed that all beaches on the Jersey Shore are open for the weekend, as well.