Doesn’t matter what you tie a ship with, it will still get bashed against the pier and if the water level changes a lot, the the lines get too tight and cause a list that can result in taking on water.
There are plenty of sheltered harbors on the north shore of Long Island she could have taken the lee of the storm in. Cold Spring and Hempstead harbors are two examples. Even if a suitable mooring was not available she could have anchored and motored against the wind. Perhaps she wasn’t outfitted for anchoring? She could still have motored upwind in a sheltered bay.