Hurricane Henri: Millions are under extreme weather warnings as Henri closes in on the Northeast

Hurricane Henri is the fourth hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean this season, and the season’s latest named storm, it was upgraded to a hurricane on Friday. And with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, it’s a strong one. As of Monday, the storm continued to move slowly towards the northeast at about 5 mph. Winds of 40-70 mph and heavy rain are likely to impact areas along the coast of the United States, from the Mid-Atlantic states to New England. The national weather service issued a hurricane watch for portions of the coastline in the Carolinas and Virginia. As it approaches the U.S., Tropical Storm Henri is expected to make landfall near the coast of North Carolina on Tuesday, the NOAA said.

Hurricane Henri has been ravaging its way through the Caribbean since Tuesday, wreaking havoc and causing deaths and destruction. In a year that has already seen a record 11 hurricanes, the U.S. National Hurricane Center has warned that this hurricane could turn into a “Category 2 hurricane with destructive winds of 100 MPH or higher” by the time it reaches the Northeast coast.

Henri is predicted to make landfall on Long Island or southern New England late Sunday morning or early afternoon, posing a threat to most of the region.

Even if it doesn’t make landfall as a hurricane, it will be severe enough to deliver destructive winds and storm surges that may knock down trees and power lines, as well as significant floods.

For most of the Long Island coast, as well as portions of Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as Block Island, a hurricane warning was in force.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a series of storm surge warnings and watches for most of Long Island and the Massachusetts shoreline. A storm surge warning indicates that increasing water coming inland from the coast poses a risk of life-threatening flooding.

“Normally dry regions along the coast will be inundated by increasing seas moving inland from the coastline due to the combination of a severe storm surge and the tide,” NHC forecasters warned.

Tornadoes may develop over southern New England on Sunday, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.

It would be unusual for a hurricane to make landfall in the area. Long Island hasn’t experienced a direct hit since Storm Gloria in 1985, while Hurricane Bob in 1991 was the last hurricane to make landfall in New England.

Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey in 2012 with hurricane-force winds and destroyed large areas of the Northeast, despite the fact that it was a post-tropical storm at the time.

At landfall, Henri’s wind field — the three-dimensional radius surrounding the storm — is anticipated to be a fourth of the size of Sandy’s, according to CNN meteorologists.

“Henri is a lot more compact storm than Sandy was when it hit the ground,” CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Northeast.

According to CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin, more than 50 million people in the Northeast are now under tropical weather warnings. More than 12 million people are under a storm surge warning, more than 5 million are under a hurricane warning, and more than 37 million are under a tropical storm warning.

The alerts indicate that these circumstances will occur within the next 24 hours.

According to a tweet from state Rep. Sean Scanlon, mandatory evacuations have been issued for the seaside communities of Guilford and Branford in Connecticut.

A person with an umbrella stands in falling rain while looking toward New York City ahead of Hurricane Henri in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.

“If you live near the shore, in a low-lying region, or in an area where record flooding is expected in Guilford, leave immediately. If you reside in Branford’s Zones 1 or 2, you must leave by 9 p.m “Scanlon penned the piece. “TAKE THIS VERY SERIOUSLY.”

Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick also told CNN that the city has chosen to impose mandatory evacuations in certain communities, and officials would go door-to-door in such areas to urge people to evacuate before the storm hits.

In a Saturday afternoon tweet, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone stated that a voluntary evacuation order has been issued for Fire Island, a barrier island off the southern coast of Long Island, so residents and tourists may “leave for their own safety.”

Officials stated the National Guard was mobilized or otherwise prepared in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island ahead of the storm to assist with any rescues, cleaning, and other assistance.

Rainfall in Central Park is at an all-time high.

The National Weather Service said that Central Park in Manhattan recorded a daily record rainfall of 4.45 inches on Saturday. The torrential rains surpassed the previous record of 4.19 inches set in 1888.

Meanwhile, other parts of New York City received 4 to 8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, with Brooklyn getting more than 6 inches.

Concert celebrating New York City's comeback cut short by extreme weather

The “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park on Saturday night, which was broadcast by CNN, was postponed due to lightning in the city. The purpose of the event was to recognize New York City’s success in combating the Covid-19 epidemic.

Across the Hudson River, rain totals of 1 to 3 inches in 24 hours were recorded in neighboring New Jersey.

A flash flood watch is in place for portions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont through Monday morning, with an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain anticipated, with greater amounts likely.

In preparation for the storm’s arrival, New York Municipal authorities shuttered all city beaches on Sunday and Monday. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City issued a state of emergency Saturday afternoon ahead of the storm, predicting severe wind, rain, and storm surges for Sunday morning and urging residents to remain inside if possible.

The mayor also issued a travel warning, advising people to minimize their travel, particularly driving, on Sunday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York issued a flood warning to residents in flood-prone regions.

“If you know you’re in a flood-prone region, please get out of there immediately,” Cuomo urged in a televised news conference on Saturday.

Cuomo said that he will proclaim a state of emergency for Long Island, New York City, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. Cuomo said New York has heavy equipment on Long Island and water-rescue teams ready to go.

Utilities are preparing for the possibility of a power outage.

Henri’s heavy rain and strong gusts may result in widespread power disruptions, forcing energy providers to prepare ahead of time.

Eversource, which supplies electricity in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, sent 1,500 workers to assist with power restoration and 500 more for tree removal.

In a tweet, the firm said, “They’re preparing for the storm at staging locations… so that they’re ready to restore power as fast and securely as possible.”

According to the Edison Electric Institute, which represents businesses that supply power to over 220 million Americans, 12,000 workers from at least 29 states, Washington, DC, and Canada are preparing to move in after the storm.

“These teams will work around the clock to restore electricity as soon as possible when and where it is safe to do so,” the institution said in a statement.

This story was co-authored by Tyler Mauldin, Robert Shackelford, Joe Sutton, Chris Boyette, Artemis Moshtaghian, Kay Jones, and Jason Hanna of CNN.

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