Hurricane Henri slowed down a bit as it headed for the New York tri-state area on Sunday, dropping huge amounts of rain in the area. The storm moved along the northeastern coastline in a north-northwest direction at about 12 miles per hour, threatening some 50 million Americans.
Downgraded to a tropical storm by mid-morning, Henri still packed a powerful punch as its outer bands lashed New York City.
Henri moved on to make landfall Sunday afternoon along the coast of Rhode Island near Westerly with sustained winds of 60 mph, gusting stronger while passing between Montauk Point and Block Island, Rhode Island.
Such an unusual landfall with the southern half of #Henri literally being sucked into NYC/NJ/PA. A thunderstorm complex moving SE thru Delaware and then #Henri itself making landfall on the CT/RI border pic.twitter.com/J86M08GpCf
— Bill Karins (@BillKarins) August 22, 2021
The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad both announced partial service suspensions, as did Amtrak, Greyhound and Peter Pan bus companies. If are intending to commute on any of the above services, call and check first to be sure there is service.
Henri forced hundreds of flight delays and cancellations as well at major airports in the area.
At least 69,000 customers were without power in Connecticut and Rhode Island as of 11 am Sunday. In Rhode Island, officials were urging residents to “shelter in place.”
Water rescues took place in several New Jersey communities, and street flooding made movement a challenge in Brooklyn, New York and elsewhere around the city, with the heavy rain overwhelming the storm drains.
2pm advisory on #Henri is out and while the storm is weakening it also is slowing down, which is not what we want to see. Storm only moving at 9 mph and is forecast to slow even more heading through tonight. Heavy rain and gusty winds will be an issue with flooding possible. pic.twitter.com/JDfUj1m7uk
— Don Maher (@DonMaherWMN) August 22, 2021
In New York, PSEG Long Island and Con Edison reported outages as of 12 noon Sunday: 1,738 customers were affected on Long Island and 231 outages reported in New York City and Westchester County.
The storm knocked out power to at least 528 customers in New Jersey on Sunday, according to PSE&G New Jersey. JCP&L reported about 4,170 customers in the dark.
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee told reporters Sunday that he expected more than 100,000 residents will lose power once the storm takes hold.
President Joe Biden had already signed several emergency declarations ahead of the storm making landfall, freeing up federal funds for emergency response and help with the aftermath.
According to the NOAA National Hurricane Center, slightly more than six inches of rain was dropped on Brooklyn, New York.
Some unwary drivers found themselves stuck in a pond, rather than on a local road at various points in the borough. At one point, the water level in some areas reached as high as the hoods of the cars that failed to get out of the way in time.
Millions on Long Island and nearby areas were warned about the likelihood of severe flooding and downed power lines from falling wind-shoved trees. Power outages were expected – some of them possibly lasting for several days – and residents were told to prepare accordingly.
At Smith Point Beach on Long Island, officials closed eight miles of beach to the public due to the dangerous conditions.
Tropical storm-force winds were expected to continue for the rest of the day and into the evening hours, causing power outages throughout much of southern New England. Cape Cod, however, appeared to have been spared the worst of the storm.
Storm surge, wind and non-stop rain continue to be the main threats facing those in the path of Tropical Storm Henri.