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Gradual-moving storm Henri drenches Northeast US | KDOW-AM

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Hrodna WESTERLY, RI (AP) – Tropical Storm Henri dotted the northeast with high winds as it hit land on the coast of Rhode Island on Sunday, sending lashing rainbands westward that cut power

WESTERLY, RI (AP) – Tropical Storm Henri hit the northeast with strong winds as it landed on the coast of Rhode Island on Sunday, sending lashing rainbands west, turning off electricity to over 140,000 homes and causing flooding Bridges closed and flooded roads, leaving some people stranded in their vehicles.

The storm was downgraded by a hurricane before it hit New England, which gave many a sigh of relief.

For two days, heavy, persistent rainfall inundated areas in southwestern New Jersey, even as it assumed tropical depression status.

The storm threatened to stall near the New York-Connecticut border overnight before swiveling east and moving towards the Atlantic on Monday. Some of the highest rain totals were expected inland. There were few early reports of major coastal damage from wind or surf.

President Joe Biden promised on Sunday that he would provide federal aid to residents of the affected states. The president declared disasters in large parts of the region and opened the wallets for federal reconstruction aid.

Biden had previously offered his condolences to the people of Tennessee after at least 22 people, including young children and the elderly, were killed in severe flooding from an unrelated storm, and dozens more were missing.

When it hit land near Westerly, Rhode Island, Henri had winds of about 60 mph and gusts of up to 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. By late Sunday, Henri had winds of about 30 mph as he moved via Connecticut towards the New York state line.

Some of the worst rains came long before the center of the storm. In Helmetta, New Jersey, around 200 residents fled to higher elevations, sought refuge in hotels or with friends and family when the floods flooded their homes.

“It happened so quickly – in the twinkling of an eye,” said the city’s mayor, Christopher Slavicek, whose parents spent the night after their escape.

“Now it’s going to be cleaned up. So that’s far from over, ”said the mayor.

Some communities in central New Jersey were inundated with up to eight inches of rain by noon on Sunday. In Jamesburg, television videos showed flooded downtown streets and cars almost completely submerged.

In Newark, public safety director Brian O’Hara said police and firefighters saved 86 people in 11 storm-related incidents. He said “significant flooding” resulted in several vehicles submerged in flooded areas.

“This could have been a lot worse, especially with regard to the wind,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Sunday evening.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said Henri was close to being in the “rearview mirror” but said there was more work to be done even if mandatory evacuations were lifted in some communities. Around 250 residents from four nursing homes on the bank had to be relocated to other nursing homes.

Several major bridges in Rhode Island, which connect much of the state, were temporarily closed on Sunday, and some coastal roads were almost impassable.

In Newport, Paul and Cherie Saunders weathered the storm in a house their family has owned since the late 1950s. Her basement was flooded with 1.5 m of water during super storm Sandy nine years ago.

“This house has seen so many hurricanes and so many things,” said Cherie Saunders, 68. “We’ll just wait and see what happens.”

Rhode Island has been hit by regular hurricanes and tropical storms – including Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Irene in 2011, and Hurricane Bob in 1991. The city of Providence suffered so much flood damage from a hurricane in 1938 and Hurricane Carol in 1954, that they created a hurricane barrier in the 1960s to protect downtown from a storm surge that drifts up Narragansett Bay. This barrier – and newer gates that have been built nearby – were closed for hours on Sunday before reopening.

The National Weather Service recorded what could be the wettest hour ever in Central Park, with 1.94 inches of torrential rainfall pounding the park between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM on Saturday. In the early evening, thousands who attended a homecoming concert in the park had to disperse due to heavy rains.

After the hurricane center returned through New England and swept into the Atlantic over the next few days, the hurricane center predicted that Henri “will lose his identity”.

By then, areas from northeast Pennsylvania to New England were preparing for heavy rains.

Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric science program at the University of Georgia and past president of the American Meteorological Society, said Henri was somewhat reminiscent of Hurricane Harvey, a slow-moving storm that decimated the Houston area in 2017.

“There’s a banding on the west side of the storm that has literally been stationary – sitting there and draining rain. That will pose a significant threat to the New York and New Jersey area, “Shepherd said.

After Tropical Storm Irene hit the coast in August 2011, many were relieved when the New York City area was largely spared. But then the storm settled over the Green Mountains, and Irene became the greatest natural disaster to hit Vermont since an epic flood in 1927. Parts of the state got 11 inches of rain in just 24 hours. Irene killed six in Vermont, left thousands homeless, and damaged or destroyed more than 200 bridges and 500 miles of freeway.

“I remember Irene and the media outside Vermont brushing it aside like it wasn’t a big deal while it hit Vermont,” tweeted Robert Welch, a podcaster on Sunday. “I’ll relax when I see it on the radar at sea.”

In one of his final appearances as governor before stepping down on a sexual harassment scandal late Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state’s main concern is inland, like the Hudson River Valley north of New York City, in the it should rain only a few centimeters in the next few days.

“There are hills in the Hudson Valley, there are creeks, the water flows down those hills and turns a creek into a devastating river,” said Cuomo.

Major airports in the region remained open as the storm approached, despite hundreds of flights being canceled on Sunday. Service on some branches of the New York City subway system was suspended until Sunday, as was Amtrak service between New York and Boston.

Blackouts affected 130,000 homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Connecticut’s largest electricity company said it restored 20,000 customers, but thousands like Linda Orlomoski, who lives in Canterbury, were left without power.

“I didn’t see any trucks in my neighborhood, but at the other end of my street the power was restored before 6pm. So close and yet so far! ”She said. “On Tuesday it should be disgustingly hot and humid again. So if we still have no power by then, it will be miserable. “

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Kunzelman answered it from Newport, Rhode Island. Porter reported from New York. Associate Press Writer William J. Kole in Warwick, Rhode Island, Michelle Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, Michael R. Sisak and Julie Walker of East Hampton, Will Lester in Washington, Philip Marcelo in Boston, Michael Melia in Hartford, Connecticut, Susan Haigh in Norwich, Connecticut, and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York contributed to this report.

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Corrected this story to show that the last name of a utility customer quoted is Orlomoski, not Oski.

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