“New Yorkers, please take this storm seriously. I know it’s short notice. Think Superstorm Sandy,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a briefing Saturday afternoon declaring a state of emergency for much of New York State. “It’s as serious as a heart attack,” he said. “The people of the state have had less notice of fully realizing what can happen here.”
“I understand the instinct of ‘we need shelter on the spot …’, but that decision to ride it out can be dangerous,” the governor said.
The storm was upgraded to hurricane status, earlier Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, but gusts when the storm reaches the area could be as high as 100 mph on eastern Long Island.
The impact of Henri will be felt as early as Saturday night, with worsening conditions on Sunday culminating in landing over eastern Long Island around noon on Sunday. Henri will then head into Connecticut and march north closer to the New York border, weakening over land but also slowing down, meaning significant rainfall could fall in elevated and already saturated areas of Connecticut and upstate New York.
This means that floods are a serious risk along with damage to homes and power lines. Connecticut’s largest energy supplier is already warning of outages that could affect up to 69% of customers and could last well over a week.
Hurricane and tropical storm warnings remain in effect as heavy rain can fall 2 to 4 inches in and around New York City, with up to 8 inches of rainfall, further east on Long Island as well as in Connecticut and upstate New York. Coastal waves of 2 to 6 feet are expected, with the largest, life-threatening swells on eastern Long Island and coastal Connecticut.
Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for Long Island, New York City, Westchester County, Hudson Valley and the Capital District. These areas of the state of New York face significant flood risks, similar to damage in the region after Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.
The governor also called on 500 National Guard members to help before Henri’s arrival. Connecticut is also in a state of emergency.
Suffolk County is urging people on Fire Island to evacuate with ferry connections suspended Sunday. Local colleges will house evacuated residents. Service on parts of Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North has already been suspended.
“Conditions deteriorate rapidly later tonight and become dangerous tomorrow. Henri delivers life-threatening storm surge, damaging winds and flooding rain. Be prepared for the possibility of prolonged power outages. Take this storm seriously. Secure loose objects around your property. If you are close to the coast , you have a plan to seek higher terrain, “advises ABC chief meteorologist Lee Goldberg.
This will likely be the first hurricane to land on Long Island since Gloria in 1985. Unlike Gloria, this storm will slow down and move inland across Connecticut, the Mid-Hudson Valley and central New England, causing extensive damage.
Forecast in detail
Here’s how the National Weather Service breaks it down:
EASTLI AND SEA COASTAL CONNECTION: The winds can be 75 mph with gusts of 90-100 mph, with the worst Sunday morning to afternoon. The strong winds can cause extensive damage and clearing of trees, power lines and poles. Damage to roofs and siding as well as significant damage to mobile homes can occur.
NASSAU COUNTY, SOUTHWEST CONNECTICUT, SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER, INTERIOR COASTAL CONNECTICUT: The winds can be 50-60 mph with sustained gusts of 70-80 mph, with the worst Sunday morning to afternoon. Widespread wood and power cord damage similar to Tropical Storm Isaiah’s last August is likely.
NYC / NJ METRO COUNTIES: Winds from 30 to 40 mp with gusts of 50-60 mph are expected to start Sunday morning, but may begin late Saturday. Scattered wood and power cord can be damaged.
EAST BAYS / TWIN FORKS / LI SOUND / OCEAN BEACHFRONT: Life-threatening flood threats of 3 to 4 and locally 5 feet in vulnerable places are expected.
SOUTHERN BAYS OF WESTERN LI AND QUEENS: Moderate to locally major flood threats of 2 to 3 feet, locally 4 feet expected. (Great South Bay)
NEW / NJ PORTS: Minor flood threat of 1 to 2 feet is expected.
Three to 7 inches with locally higher amounts for large parts of Connecticut and eastern Long Island are expected by Monday. 2 to 4 inches with locally higher volumes are on pressure for the rest of the area.
Most widespread and heavy rainfall is likely to occur late Saturday night to Sunday evening. Rain may continue until Monday.
The heavy rains will pose a risk of flooding.
Surf heights can reach 8 to 12 feet on western LI beaches and 12 to 18 feet on eastern LI beaches, causing dune erosion and possible dune fractures on vulnerable eastern Long Island barrier islands.
Off the coast, wave heights can be 15 to 20 feet, especially east of Moriches Inlet.
A hurricane warning applies to the south shore of Long Island from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, North Island on Long Island from Port Jefferson Harbor to Montauk Point and New Haven, Connecticut, west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
A tropical storm warning applies to Port Jefferson Harbor west of New Haven Connecticut, the southern shore of Long Island west of Fire Island Inlet to East Rockaway Inlet, Coastal New York and New Jersey west of East Rockaway Inlet to Manasquan Inlet, including New York City.
One of the biggest issues will be the storm surge from New York City to Cape Cod.
A storm surge warning is in effect from Queens, New York across Long Island. A storm surge warning means there is a risk of life-threatening flooding from rising water moving inland over the next 36 hours at the designated locations.
At 17.00 ET, Henri had a maximum sustained wind of 75 miles per hour and was about 335 miles south of Montauk Point /.
The current guidance from National Hurricane Center:
Dangerous flooding is expected to begin late
tonight or Sunday in parts of Long Island, Connecticut,
Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, where a storm surge
Warning has been issued. Dangerous storm surge is possible
begins late in the evening or Sunday in western parts of Long
Iceland and Connecticut in the Storm Surge Watch area. Residents i
these areas should follow all the advice of local officials.
2. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin late tonight or
Sunday in parts of Long Island and Connecticut, where a
A hurricane warning has been issued. The hurricane conditions are
possible late tonight or Sunday across parts of Rhode Island.
Heavy rainfall can lead to significant flash, urban and small
streams, along with the potential for widespread less and
isolated moderate river flooding, over parts of Long Island, New
England, southeastern New York and northern New Jersey.
4. Swells from Henri will continue to affect large parts of the east coast
in the US over the weekend. These swellings can cause
life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Additional Henri coverage
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