HENRI MAKES LANDFALL NEAR RI: Weakens to tropical storm; NY, LI, CT slapped with heavy rain, wind gusts
Produced by Neil A. Carousso
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Tropical Storm Henri made landfall in Rhode Island around 12:15 p.m. Sunday, packing heavy winds and drenching rains as it began lashing the northeastern U.S. coastline.
Landfall came after Henri lost strength as it went above cooler waters around 7:30 a.m. Maximum winds were under 75 miles per hour, just shy of hurricane status.
Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been canceled, and tropical storm warnings are now in effect from Montauk up into southern New England. A Flood Watch is in effect for New York City through Monday, Aug. 23, at 8 a.m.
Despite the downgrade, strong wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour are possible and the rising tide threatened to produce dangerous storm surge between 3 and 5 feet in much of Long Island Sound all the way to Chatham, Massachusetts, and slightly less on Long Island’s Atlantic coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
Tens of thousands were left without power in the region as of Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service’s Boston office has reported about 75,000 customers without power in Rhode Island, about 20,000 customers out in Connecticut and nearly 6,900 customers out in Massachusetts.
The storm will slow down and bands of wind and rain will circulate around through Sunday night and into Monday morning.
Flash flooding was possible in inland areas already saturated by recent rain.
Heavy rain overwhelmed storm drains and drivers plowed through foot-deep water in a few spots in New York City, and Newark and Hoboken, New Jersey as the first thunderstorms drenched parts of the Tri-State area late Saturday.
The severe weather also canceled the “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park.
The White House said President Joe Biden discussed preparations with northeastern governors, including Govs. Phil Murphy and Ned Lamont. New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who succeeds Cuomo on Tuesday, also participated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report