Heavy rains, storm surges, and dangerous winds from Tropical Storm Henri have left more than 120,000 people without power across the Northeast. After touching down in Rhode Island early Sunday afternoon, the storm is weakening quickly as it moves northwest, but the National Hurricane Center warns that heavy rains and flooding are expected to continue through Monday.
Tropical Storm Henri strengthened into a hurricane as it made its way over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday but was downgraded Sunday morning before reaching New England. It made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (96.5 kph) near Westerly, Rhode Island, at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, the agency said. Gusts of up to 70 mph (112.6 kph) were recorded in some coastal areas of the state.
Three out of every four homes in coastal Washington County on Rhode Island, which is home to 125,000 people, had already lost power by the time the storm made landfall, the New York Times reports. Parts of New Jersey have been hit with up to 9 inches of rain (22.8 cm), triggering widespread flooding as far as 100 miles (160.9 km) from the storm’s center, the Weather Channel reports. New York City saw 4.45 inches (11.3 cm) of rainfall ahead of the storm’s landing on Saturday, setting a daily maximum rainfall record for Aug. 21, according to the National Weather Service’s New York City branch.
The rain closed bridges, crippled railroad service across Long Island and southern New England, and shut down hundreds of flights at New York City’s airports, the Times reports. As of Sunday evening, the NHS said eastern Long Island was reporting winds of 29 mph (47 kph) and gusts of 42 mph (68 kph).
In a national address on Sunday, President Joe Biden said he approved emergency declarations for Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, allowing these states to receive federal recovery aid. The NHS said it expects the storm to continue slowly moving farther northwest and stall near the border between Connecticut and New York around Sunday evening before moving across northern Connecticut or southern Massachusetts by Monday afternoon.
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