Tropical Storm Henri Drenches Northeast
UNITED STATES—August 25, 2021—After being downgraded from a hurricane, Tropical Storm Henri made landfall Sunday morning near Westerly, Rhode Island, becoming the second tropical storm this year to strike the Northeast. Henri packed storm surge and strong winds, leaving more than 140,000 households stretching from Pennsylvania to Maine without power, according to The New York Times. The storm also broke rainfall records and flooded roads, stranding motorists.
Ahead of the storm, torrential rain arrived in Manhattan beginning Saturday night. By The end of the weekend, more than 7 inches of rain was recorded in Central Park, the city’s highest two-day rainfall total since 2011 when Hurricane Irene churned up the coast to make landfall in Brooklyn, N.Y. As Tropical Storm Henri came ashore, more than 33 million people were under flood watches and warnings, according to CNN. The New York Times reports that Newark emergency responders rescued more than 80 people stranded in cars as roads flooded and closed across New York City and New Jersey. The storm also temporarily stopped rail service, shut down parts of the New York subway system, and canceled flights across the region.
Before leaving office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency to help the state prepare for flood and wind damage. Some residents in coastal Connecticut were evacuated and three Rhode Island bridges were closed due to high winds, according to The New York Times. Officials in Massachusetts made the decision to close the massive steel doors of New Bedford’s hurricane barrier. The decision temporarily sealed off the region’s largest fishing port, protecting the vessels that made it inside in time. Any vessels still at sea were forced to find another port once the doors were closed.
With sustained winds of 57 mph at landfall, Tropical Storm Henri downed trees and power lines, causing widespread power outages up and down the coast. By Monday afternoon, 37,000 customers remained without power, mostly in Rhode Island, according to CNN. With high temperatures in the forecast for later this week, crews are working to restore power to as many customers as possible to avoid the heat.