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Henri Updates: Flooding in New York and New Jersey; Evacuations Ordered in Connecticut

The Weather Channel logo The Weather Channel 8/22/2021 Jan Wesner Childs

Henri is bringing heavy bands of rain, flooding and winds as the tropical storm closes in on New York and southern New England.

Locations in New York City, and Newark, Hoboken and Middlesex County, New Jersey, reported flooding on Sunday morning. Some areas had received several inches of rain.

That National Weather Service had received reports Sunday of water rescues, flooded roads and basements as Henri continues to track toward landfall.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered in some communities and several areas are under a state of emergency.

Dangerous storm surge, flooding, high winds and widespread power outages are possible in both coastal and inland areas.

(MORE: The Latest Forecast for Henri)

About 17,000 power outages were being reported in Rhode Island as of 10:40 a.m., according to Outages were ticking up in New Jersey, Connecticut

Storm barriers that protect from flooding were closed in several areas. Some of the barriers go across streets, while others are in waterways. The barrier in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was closed Sunday morning, sealing off the town's harbor, which was packed with boats seeking a safe place to ride out the storm.

“Once it’s closed, it’s closed,” Justin Poulsen, director of the New Bedford Port Authority, told the New York Times. “You can’t underestimate this kind of storm.”

The ground in much of region is already saturated from rain brought in recent days by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred. That means trees might be more likely to fall over and take power lines with them.

“It’s coming down in buckets now and our ground is already saturated from last week," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told The Weather Channel Saturday morning. "So that means flooding and that means trees being uprooted. Even if it’s just a gust they get uprooted with wet soil.”

Tractor trailers are banned from driving on Interstate 95 beginning at 11 a.m. today. Lamont said that's to prevent accidents and keep the roadway clear for emergency crews.

The Red Cross has opened multiple shelters across the Northeast. Local municipalities have also opened shelters. COVID-19 protocols are in place.

Hundreds of flights are delayed or canceled at major airports including LaGuardia, Kennedy, Boston Logan and Newark.

Public transit including railways and ferries was suspended in many areas across the region.

All or parts of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island were under emergency declarations from their governors ahead of the storm and President Joe Biden approved pre-landfall emergency declarations from the White House. Local emergencies were also declared in several areas, including New York City.

More than 6 inches of rain has fallen in Brooklyn, and between 4 and 5 inches have come down in other areas around the city.

Lightning in the city led officials to postpone the "WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert" in Central Park Saturday night, which was televised by CNN. The event was to celebrate New York City's progress in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1.94 inches of rain that fell in Central Park from 10 to 11 p.m. Saturday night was the wettest hour on record for New York City.

An evacuation order was issued Saturday evening for some residents in the Connecticut coastal community of Guilford, about 12 miles west of New Haven.

A similar order was issued in the nearby town of Branford, where residents in the evacuation area were told to be out by 7 a.m. Sunday, and in the community of Madison.

(MORE: Track Henri)

The city of New Haven recommended that residents in some flood-prone areas evacuate to a safer location.

Several shelters were open.

A voluntary evacuation was called for a section of the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, effective at 9 a.m. Sunday. A voluntary evacuation was issued Saturday for Fire Island, New York.

Officials reminded people to follow the appropriate safety guidelines when using generators, and never use one inside or close to an enclosed structure.

National Guard troops were called up in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut.

If Henri makes landfall as a hurricane in New England, it would be the first to do since Hurricane Bob went ashore in Rhode Island 30 years ago this week. If it makes landfall on Long Island, it would be first direct hit there since Hurricane Gloria in 1985, although several storms have impacted the island since then, including Isaias last .year.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


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