Sunday: Tropical Storm Henri Update

Tropical Storm Henri is weakening after making landfall Sunday afternoon in southern New England as a tropical storm.

Flooding rain and strong winds will continue inland into Monday.

Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Henri is moving over southern New England with abundant flooding rain and strong winds which will continue into Monday.

Major flash flooding has already occurred in parts of New Jersey and the New York City metro area.

At 1:00pm Governor Lamont held a press conference with updates, noting that the storm hit landfall in Westerly, RI, rather than in New Haven or New London as originally anticipated.

He explained that hurricanes pick up speed when over water and lose potency when over land.

“Where it hits land is an important detail,” he said, adding that there were 75,000 power outages in Rhode Island, 24,000 in Connecticut, 7,000 in Massachusetts, and 2,600 in New York as of 1:00pm.

He said that in Connecticut the towns of Canterbury, Stonington and Plainfield had been hit hard as the storm began to move from northeast to north west.

By comparison there were 800,000 outages in CT at the worst of Isaias, versus Sunday with 24,000 outages in CT.

“But we’re still getting started,” he said. “We’ll have to track this.”

He said that with the eye of the storm landing on Westerly, RI, “outside the entrance to Connecticut” meant less storm surge inside Long Island Sound and Connecticut’s coast.

“We’ve gone from hurricane to tropical storm, but don’t get complacent,” Lamont warned, adding that his team was in close contact with FEMA, who had been supportive.

Also, he said nursing facilities had been closed and residents moved to more secure locations.

Lamont said he believed the biggest risk to Connecticut was flash flooding.

“I think that’s the biggest risk right now,” he said. “We had a lot of rain over the last week. The top soil is thin, you have rock underneath. That means the top soil is filling up like a sponge fills with water. That water is pouring off right now. We have some potential for urban flooding, not to mention the highest tides due to the full moon.”

As for the possibility of power outages and the anticipated 90° temps anticipated this upcoming week.

“We have twice as many crews on the ground as we’ve ever had before. Really prioritizing the densest areas with the most outages so we can take care of people there. Secondly, in terms of generators, we have standby power to back that up. That’s particularly concerning in places like nursing homes. Finally, we have the cooling centers. If worst comes to worst and they can’t get AC in places where people absolutely need it, not to mention power to keep your medicine and food safe. We’ll get you to a cooling center.”

Most of the rain will be dropping on northwest Connecticut.

(The travel ban on all empty tractor trailers, tandem tractor trailers, and motorcycles on Interstate 95 that went into effect this morning due to the impacts of Tropical Storm Henri will be lifted at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 22, 2021. For everyone’s safety, the governor continues to urge everyone to stay off the roads to the greatest extent possible until the storm has completely passed.)