Tropical storm Henri barrels towards Rhode Island packing 60mph winds

Tropical storm Henri barrels towards Rhode Island packing 60mph winds

August 22, 2021

Tropical storm Henri barrels towards Rhode Island packing 60mph winds: 19-FOOT waves are detected off the coast, 85,000 people lose power, 1,000 flights are canceled and more than 35M across the Northeast remain under flood watches

  • Tropical Storm Henri is set to make landfall in Rhode Island early Sunday afternoon 
  • Storm warnings extend from coastal Connecticut and near the old whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, to across the luxurious oceanfront estates of New York´s Hamptons
  • It is bringing 60mph winds with storm surges and flooding rain across the New England region
  • More than 35million people had been issued a flood warning in the area
  • Nearly 85,000 people in Rhode Island and Connecticut were without power as of Sunday around noon 
  • Amid torrential rain Saturday evening, New York City saw its wettest hour on record  
  • At least 1,000 flights out of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts had been cancelled as of Sunday morning   
  • Rain began battering New York City on Saturday night as the storm approached  
  • Several videos posted online showed drivers plowing through high water in New York and New Jersey
  • The storm is expected to bring serious wind damage, 3 to 6 inches of rain and up to 5 feet of storm surge 
  • NYC’s ‘Homecoming’ concert intended to mark the end of the Covid pandemic was dramatically cancelled half way through, as Barry Manilow was singing on stage as the city was hit by thunderstorms
  • Revelers were told to leave Central Park immediately as lightning and torrential rain hit the city

Tropical Storm Henri headed toward landfall on Rhode Island late Sunday morning, bringing with it potentially dangerous winds, and storm surges as well as flooding rain to areas across the New England Region.      

As of its 11am storm watch update, the National Weather Service was tracking the storm as it passed over Block Island, Rhode Island, with 60-mile-per-hour winds, and was soon expected to make landfall in the state.  

Waves off the coast of Block Island were recorded as reaching up to 19 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and flooding rains were expected in New York’s Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  

NWS offices in the area issued a flood watch for more than 35million people across the Northeastern US.

As of around noon, nearly 84,000 people in Rhode Island and Connecticut were without power, according Poweroutage.us, with more recorded in New Jersey.   

Already, more than 1,000 flights had been cancelled at airports in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey due to the storm, with more expected throughout the day, according to CNN.

Janno Lieber, acting chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reported during a Sunday morning press conference that 23 percent of flights at LaGuardia, 11 percent of flights at JFK, 22 percent of flights at Newark had been cancelled, but none of the airports expected flooding.

New York City’s subways were operating without any suspensions, he reported, but LIRR and Metro North branches in the most affected areas of eastern Long Island and Connecticut and were suspended.   

An onlooker watched the waves being churned up by Tropical Storm Henri Sunday morning at a beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. The storm is expected to make landfall in the state early in the afternoon, bringing with it 60-miles-per-hour winds, storm surges and potentially flooding rain 

Waves crashed over a pier in New London, Connecticut last Sunday morning 

A man walks out into the Atlantic to body surf Sunday morning in Connecticut. Tropical Storm Henri is expected to make landfall near the state’s border with Rhode Island early in the afternoon 

A truck drove through a flooded road in Westerly Rhode Island late Sunday afternoon. Tropical storm Henri is expected to make landfall nearby early in the afternoon 

Perhaps most seriously, due to their topography, areas in New York’s Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Massachusetts could see serious flooding.

Rainfall of up to five inches is expected, with a chance for the storm to slow and linger, and increasing the likelihood of serious flooding, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a Sunday morning press conference.  

Strong winds had already begun lashing the region as Rhode Island and eastern Long Island saw gusts of up to 63 miles per hour and 56 miles per hour respectively, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

It is anticipated to bring gusts of up to 70-mile-per-hour winds, as well as storm surges of up to five feet on parts of Long Island. 

Despite it weakening below hurricane strength, the National Weather Service warned that the threats posed by the storm – particularly heavy rain – remained the same.

The storm had been originally projected to hit eastern Long Island, but shifted north east 

Buildings were boarded up in Montauk, Long Island, where Tropical Storm Henri was expected to make landfall before shifting northeast to Rhode Island 

Boarded up homes on Hotchkiss Grove beach, Connecticut Sunday morning. Henri is expected to make its way across the New England region, bringing heavy rains  

A boarded up convenience store in Montauk Sunday morning. Parts of Long Island could see wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour from Henri 

Fishing vessels moored in Sunday morning in Montauk, where the storm surge as a result of Henri could reach up to five feet

The first thunderstorms fed by moisture from Henri brought up to half a foot of rain late Saturday, and flooding began in some areas overnight. 

New York’s Central Park set an all-time record for rain in an hour, with 1.94″ falling by 11:51pm – beating the previous record of 1.76″ of rain recorded in the park on September 8, 2004.

It marked the wettest hour the city had ever seen on record. 

With the center of Henri projected to pass over or just off the eastern tip of Long Island by midday, storm warnings extended from coastal Connecticut and near the old whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, to across the luxurious oceanfront estates of New York´s Hamptons, to the summer getaway of Fire Island.

‘Henri has weakened slightly and is now below hurricane strength,’ the agency tweeted Sunday morning. 

‘This does NOT CHANGE the overall threats, especially the heavy rain threat.’ 

Henri was expected to make landfall at Montauk, and make its way across the New England region, bringing heavy and sustained rains to areas in New York’s Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Massachusetts, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Sunday morning press conference  


BROOKLYN, NYC: Videos posted online showed drivers plowing through high water in New York City, and Newark and Hoboken, New Jersey Saturday evening, when moisture from the storm caused torrential downpours 


Flood water was seen on Saturday evening gushing into homes on Throop Avenue in Brooklyn

WILLIAMSBURG, NYC: Streets were covered in water in Brooklyn as torrential rain battered New York ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Henri

Flash flooding hit the streets in Gowanus Brooklyn Saturday evening around 10pm amid torrential rain  


WILLIAMSBURG, NYC: Rain began battering New York City on Saturday night as the storm approached

Some 55 million people are under storm warnings ahead of the arrival of Henri, and the National Hurricane Center warned that winds that could reach 80 mph.

Eversource, who provide power to 1.2 million customers in Connecticut, warned that between 50% and 69% their customers could lose power for between eight and 21 days, NBC reports.  

Tropical storm-intensity winds began striking the coast at around 8am.  

Several videos posted online showed drivers plowing through high water in New York City, and Newark and Hoboken, New Jersey.

A bicyclist made their way through a flooded street in Rhode Island where the outer bands of the storm began lashing the area at around 9.30am

Waves crashed against the sea wall in New Longdon, Connecticut Sunday morning as Henri spread across the New England region 

Strong winds lashed the region, with Rhode Island and eastern Long Island recording gusts upwards of 40 miles per hour 

Despite downgrading Henri to a tropical storm., the National Weather Service warned that heavy rain and storm surges remained a threat 

The National Weather Service downgraded Henri to a tropical storm Sunday morning, but warned the threat remained the same 

CENTRAL PARK, NYC: The ‘Homecoming’ concert intended to mark the end of the Covid pandemic was dramatically cancelled half way through, as Barry Manilow was singing on stage as the city was hit by thunderstorms 

President Joe Biden on Sunday morning approved states of emergency declared in areas of New York state and Connecticut. 

People in the projected path spent Saturday scrambling to stock up on groceries and gasoline. Some gas stations from Cape Cod to Long Island sold out of fuel. 

Those close to the coast boarded up windows and, in some cases, evacuated. 

Officials in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York cautioned that people could lose power for days.

Authorities advised people to secure their boats, fuel up their vehicles and stock up on canned goods. 


HOBOKEN NJ: Streets were completely submerged after flash flooding in new Jersey (left) while The Brooklyn Queens Expressway was closed in both directions due to flooding (right)


 QUEENS: Water is seen pouring into an underground subway station in Ozone Park (left) while the basement of an apartment building in Brooklyn was flooded (right)


HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY: Roads were submerged after torrential downpours (left) – while water poured down stairs like a waterfall in Brooklyn

People ran back from watching waves at Ponquogue Beach in the Hamptons Long Island Sunday morning as Henri neared 

Police in Southampton on eastern Long Island closed a flooded road as Henri began to make landfall Sunday morning 

WESTHAMPTON, NY: Cars waited in line to fill up on gas Saturday ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Henri

WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND: Panic buying saw shelves stripped of supplies as Tropical Storm Henri barreled towards the state

Approaching severe weather Saturday night also cut short a superstar-laden concert in Central Park. The show headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson was meant to celebrate New York City´s recovery from the coronavirus. 

But officials asked concertgoers to leave the park during Barry Manilow´s set amid the threat of lightning.  

NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT: Homeowners began barricading their windows and doors with plywood

VALLEY STREAM, NY: A road sign flashes a hurricane warning on Southern State Parkway

A satellite image taken Saturday afternoon shows Tropical Storm Henri barreling towards New England where it is expected to make landfall on Sunday

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned that swells from the storm can cause ‘life-threatening surf and rip currents’

Henri began making landfall Sunday morning at tropical storm strength, with winds that could reach 80 mph

New York City’s ‘Homecoming’ concert canceled half way through Manilow set

New York City’s homecoming concert was dramatically cancelled half way through, and revelers were told to leave Central Park immediately and seek shelter as Tropical Storm Henri barreled down on the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC officials had ignored a storm watch for the Big Apple ahead of the concert, and planned to push ahead with the event on the Great Lawn in Central Park.

The ‘We Love NYC, The Homecoming Concert’ was intended to mark the end of the Covid pandemic in the city that was the global epicenter for the virus back in April 2020.

But just after 7:40pm, as Barry Manilow was singing a medley of his hits on stage, the music was suddenly stopped as lightning strikes were reported within the city.

Manilow was part way through singing ‘I Can’t Smile Without You’ when concertgoers were told to ‘quickly and calmly proceed to the nearest exit’.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said: ‘We need everyone for brief period of time to move to some place safe because of thunder and lightening, and then we will bring the concert back.’

But as concertgoers deserted the park and the torrential rain and lightning showed no signs of easing, officials pulled the plug.   

New York City’s homecoming concert has been dramatically cancelled half way through and revelers were told to leave Central Park immediately and seek shelter as Hurricane Henri barreled down on the city

The ‘We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert’ in Central Park was cut short due to rain storms that are part of Henri in New York

Officials had ignored a tropical storm watch for the Big Apple and insisted that the homecoming concert would continue as planned

A sea of unmasked New Yorkers packed Central Park to watch a star-studded line up of performers Saturday evening as Henri was on the horizon.

Concertgoers flood out of Central Park after the Homecoming concert was called off

People leave We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert as the event was canceled due to weather during in Central Park on Saturday

A weather anchor for CNN revealed that city officials had previously said they would need to call off the concert if lightning struck anywhere within 10 miles of the show. 

Manilow appeared on the network in a phone interview after his performance was cut short.

‘It’s such a shame,’ Manilow said. ‘They cut us off and threw us off the stage because they were afraid of lightning. It was getting very dangerous out there.’ 

He then sang I Made It Through the Rain over the phone while Anderson Cooper waved his arms. 

On Saturday a sea of unmasked New Yorkers packed Central Park to watch a star-studded line up of performers as Tropical Storm Henri was on the horizon. 

Big name headliners including Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Jennifer Hudson had entertained a crowd of up to 60,000 in Central Park. 

Just before the concert was stopped, some people had posted on social media that they had been in line for three hours but still hadn’t been admitted to the park for the concert. 

Also set to perform before the concert was abruptly halted were Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Santana, Jon Batiste, Kane Brown, LL Cool J, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind & Fire and others. 

Organized by Brooklyn-born music mogul Clive Davis, the concert was meant to celebrate New York City’s reopening after the pandemic, despite rising COVID cases nationwide.

NYC’s largest concert since the pandemic began in early 2020, the free ticketed  show was only open to attendees over the age of 12 who provide proof of vaccination, and won’t be required to wear masks.    

The storm is set to make landfall in Long Island or southern New England late Saturday or early Sunday, with winds that could reach 80 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. 

People evacuated popular beach communities and made last-minute runs on batteries and gasoline as Henri churned closer, while officials pleaded with the millions of people in the storm´s path to brace themselves for torrential rain and storm surges.

Henri has sparked New York to declare a state of emergency as the Hamptons braced for a direct hit on Saturday.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for some residents closest to the water in Madison, Connecticut.  

Henri was on course to collide Sunday in the late morning or afternoon with a long stretch of coastline, as storm warnings extended from near the old whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, across the luxurious oceanfront estates of New York´s Hamptons, to the summer getaway of Fire Island.

Intense winds and potentially dangerous tidal surges were expected as far east as Cape Cod and as far west as the New Jersey shore, and utilities warned ensuing power outages could last a week or even more. Governors urged people to stay home during the brunt of the storm.

Henri was veering a bit further west than originally expected, placing eastern Long Island in its bull’s-eye rather than New England. That gave people directly in the storm’s path less time to prepare.

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

Surfers flock to the beach as wave heights elevate in advance of Henri on Saturday in Lido Beach, New York

Earlier today de Blasio announced NYC is under a Tropical Storm Warning and to expect strong winds and rain to begin late Saturday through Sunday

Residents and visitors on Fire Island, a narrow strip of sandy villages barely above sea level off Long Island´s southern coast, were urged to evacuate. The last boats out will leave at 10:40 p.m. Saturday; after that, officials said, there may be no way out for people who decide to ride out the storm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded with New York residents to make last-minute preparations, warning that heavy rain, winds and storm surges from Henri could be as devastating as Superstorm Sandy in parts of the state. 

The governor, who will leave office in two days following a sexual harassment scandal, warned that heavy rains were expected to create problems far up into the Hudson River Valley.

In a briefing on Saturday afternoon, Cuomo warned that Henri is ‘as serious as a heart attack’ and New York residents in parts of Long Island, particularly Fire Island, need to prepare to evacuate to higher ground as soon as possible. 

More than 40million people are under storm threat

Huge clouds were seen over Manhattan on Friday as the Tropical Storm Henri expected to arrive in New York City

‘We have short notice. We´re talking about tomorrow,’ Cuomo said. ‘So if you have to move, if you have to stock up, if you have to get to higher ground, it has to be today. Please.’

The State of Emergency is in place for Long Island, New York City, Westchester County, the Hudson Valley and the Capital Region. 

Cuomo said Henri is forecasted to make landfall 7am on Sunday with the eye of the storm passing over Long Island by 11am. The storm is expected to batter the state for 26 hours before it subsides around 2pm on Monday.  

He added that there will be delays or cancellations to flights, and that passengers should check with their airlines to see if their travel plans were still on track. In Long Island, most train services will be suspended from midnight and the MTA is considering shutting down the Harlem line. 

At least 500 National Guard troops will be deployed today, and the State Police will have 1,000 staff on duty. 

Earlier on Saturday, de Blasio announced that New York City is under a Tropical Storm Warning and to expect strong winds and rain to begin late Saturday through Sunday. 

‘Right now, from what we’re hearing, the real impacts are tomorrow but we want to start warning people now, we want you to make your plans the right way, to really minimize activity tomorrow to the maximum extent possible,’ de Blasio said during a Saturday press briefing. 

‘Stay off the roads, stay indoors, there’s going to be heavy winds, a lot of rain, we could definitely be seeing some trees falling down, we need people to be safe so I’m telling you now so you can alter your plans, prepare your plans for tomorrow. Stay in, to the maximum extent possible.’  

Connecticut braced for first direct hit from a hurricane in 30 years amid warnings that millions could be left without power for WEEKS

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for some residents closest to the water in Madison, Connecticut. First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons wrote in a public notice, that any ‘residents who do not leave the evacuation zone by 9 p.m. tonight are putting their lives at risk and public safety crews will not be able to respond to you once winds exceed 50 mph.’  

Gov. Ned Lamont warned Connecticut residents they should prepare to ‘shelter in place’ from Sunday afternoon through at least Monday morning as the state braces for the first possible direct hit from a hurricane in decades.

New England has not taken a direct hit from a hurricane since Hurricane Bob in 1991.

In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee similarly urged state residents stay at home Sunday and into Monday morning.

‘We consider this a serious matter,’ McKee said at a news conference. 

Eversource, who provide power to 1.2 million customers in Connecticut, warned that between 50% and 69% their customers could lose power for between eight and 21 days, NBC reports. 

‘We’ve been re-positioning crews, equipment and other resources accordingly so that we’re ready for the significant, widespread damage we can expect to see from this storm,’ said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom.

Sean Delvin speaks with Connecticut State Trooper Ollivierre about the mandatory evacuation as Henri approaches East Haven, Connecticut on Saturday

Rafael Roman boards up a client’s home as Henri approaches East Haven, Connecticut on Saturday

Erica Giglietti takes a selfie while filling sandbags for her home ahead of a mandatory evacuation as Henri approaches East Haven, Connecticut on Saturday

President Joe Biden participated in a phone call with northeastern governors, as well as FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, to discuss Henri’s anticipated landfall on Long Island and southern New England on Sunday.

According to a readout of the call, they discussed how governors are ‘working closely’ with FEMA and the National Guard to prepare to respond to impacts from the storm – including possible widespread power outages, coastal storm surges, and inland flooding.

Criswell said FEMA is positioning 700 response personnel and materials including meals, tarps, and generators, according to the readout. 

‘Additionally, the President and other participants discussed the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through the use of vaccines, masks, and social distancing if sheltering is required,’ according to the readout. 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker expressed relief Saturday that the latest models suggest Henri won’t make a direct hit on the state.

But Baker and McKee at separate briefings warned that high winds and heavy rains still could lead to widespread and lengthy power outages.

Officials said Logan International Airport in Boston was expected to remain open, but that some flights likely would be canceled. And service on some branches of New York City’s commuter rail system will be suspended Sunday.

Celebrities in the Hamptons ‘hanging out on their yachts at the moment drinking martinis’ while locals board up homes ahead of storm

In the Hamptons, the celebrity playground on Long Island’s east end, officials warned of dangerous rip currents and flooding that’s likely to turn streets like the mansion-lined Dune Road into lagoons.

‘We have a lot of wealthy people. There’s no doubt that we do, but everybody pulls together in an emergency,’ Schneiderman said. 

‘So, you know, yeah, there are people hanging out on their yachts at the moment drinking martinis, but they’re also starting to talk about this storm and I’m sure they’re going to want to be helpful.’

Former President Bill Clinton was seen at a charity softball game in the Hamptons while others were pictured boarding up their in advance of the impending tropical storm. 

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the town was considering issuing a voluntary evacuation advisory for about 6,000 people. He said storm models showed that the storm’s center would run ‘smack on the town of Southampton.’

He described a run on supplies like batteries and flashlights as people ‘are starting to wake up.’

Former President Bill Clinton is pictured at The East Hampton Artists & Writers Annual Charity Softball Game ahead of the storm on Saturday

Former President Bill Clinton gives autographs at The East Hampton Artists & Writers Annual Charity Softball Game on Saturday

Former President Bill Clinton puts on his umpire t-shirt at The East Hampton Artists & Writers Annual Charity Softball Game

Former President Bill Clinton posing for a photograph with Mike Lupica, center, at The East Hampton Artists & Writers Annual Charity Softball Game

Former President Bill Clinton shakes hands with Lori Singer at The East Hampton Artists & Writers Annual Charity Softball Gam

Residents and visitors on Fire Island, a narrow strip of sandy villages barely above sea level off Long Island’s southern coast, were urged to evacuate. The last boats out will leave at 10:40 p.m. Saturday; after that, officials said, there may be no way out for people who decide to ride out the storm.

The evacuation threw a wrench into Kristen Pavese’s planned Fire Island bachelorette party. The group of 10 had intended to celebrate out on Saturday night, but ended up leaving on the ferry just a day after arriving. They had planned to stay until Monday.

‘I’m upset about it, but it’s the weather. It’s nothing I can control,’ said Pavese, a Long Island resident. ‘I’ve been going to Fire Island for a long time, so I’m sort of familiar with this happening.’

Boats sit in a parking lot as part of storm preparation on August 21, 2021 in Hampton Bays, New York

The group made alternate Saturday night plans at a Long Island winery, and Pavese said she was happy to still be with her friends.

New York hasn’t had a direct hit from a powerful cyclone since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012. Some of the most important repairs from that storm have been completed, but many projects designed to protect against future storms remain unfinished.

With a top wind speed of 75 mph Saturday, Henri sped up to move north-northeast at 18 mph as of Saturday evening. It’s still about 335 miles south of Montauk Point on Long Island.

Storm surge between 3 and 5 feet is possible from Flushing, New York, to Chatham, Massachusetts, and for parts of the North Shore and South Shore of Long Island, the hurricane center said. Rainfall between 3 to 6 inches is expected Sunday through Monday.

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