Big Apple goes on hurricane watch as Henri changes course away from New England


Tropical Storm Henri could bring ‘dangerous storm surges’ and hurricane-strength winds of up to 75mph to the New York City area nine years after the Big Apple was battered by Hurricane Sandy.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for New York City effective until further notice. The agency has predicted 2 to 4 inches of rain and up to 40mph winds with gusts as high as 50mph in the city. 

Meanwhile, meteorologists with Accuweather said that Henri is expected to hit the Hamptons on eastern Long Island with winds up to 75 mph – which would be enough to classify the storm as a Category 1 hurricane.

Models from the Czech meteorological company VentuSky show Henri developing into a hurricane before it passes over western Long Island before hitting Manhattan and continuing into upstate New York. 

Models from the Czech meteorological company VentuSky show Henri developing into a hurricane before it passes over western Long Island before hitting Manhattan

The National Hurricane Center wrote in an advisory around 11pm on Friday that hurricane conditions are expected to begin late Saturday night or Sunday in portions of Long Island and Connecticut, where a Hurricane Warning has been issued.

Hurricane conditions are expected to continue into parts of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, according to the National Hurricane Center.

‘Heavy rainfall may lead to considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding along with the potential for widespread minor and isolated moderate river flooding over portions of Long Island and New England Sunday into Monday,’ the advisory reads.

The National Weather Service in New York updated storm surge watches and warnings for the local region around 1am on Saturday showing storm surge warnings for parts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs of New York City and other areas.

They did not say how big those surges could be, but earlier warnings for New England warned Cape Cod to brace for between three and five feet of water.  

A map from the National Weather Service shows tht the storm is expected to hit Long Island as a Hurricane

A map from the National Weather Service shows tht the storm is expected to hit Long Island as a Hurricane

A map shows the storm force and wind speeds as Henri progresses into a possible hurricane

A map shows the storm force and wind speeds as Henri progresses into a possible hurricane

Tropical Storm Henri is pictured in satellite footage as it moves toward the northwest US Coast, located about 400 miles  southeast of Charleston, South Carolina

Tropical Storm Henri is pictured in satellite footage as it moves toward the northwest US Coast, located about 400 miles  southeast of Charleston, South Carolina

According to the National Ocean Service, a storm surge is the abnormal rise in seawater level caused by a storm’s winds pushing water onshore – and is measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical tide.

All New York City beaches will be closed on Sunday and Monday, officials said. However, officials told the New York Post that a ‘homecoming’ concert at Central Park was still scheduled for Saturday as of late Friday evening.

A total of 60,000 people will cram into Central Park to watch acts including Jennifer Hudson, Barry Manilow and Bruce Springsteen.  

Henri’s track has been imprecise, leading New Englanders to brace for their first possible hurricane in 30 years earlier on Friday.

Residents in New England were seen hauling boats out of the water and taking other precautions earlier on Friday as Tropical Storm Henri barreled toward them before appearing to change course.

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

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

New York hasn't had a direct hit from a major hurricane season storm since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012

New York hasn’t had a direct hit from a major hurricane season storm since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012

All New York City beaches will be closed on Sunday and Monday

All New York City beaches will be closed on Sunday and Monday

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday urged people vacationing on the Cape to leave well before Henri hits, and those who planned to start vacations there to delay their plans. 

‘We don’t want people to be stuck in traffic on the Cape Cod bridges when the storm is in full force on Sunday,’ he said.

Baker said up to 1,000 National Guard troops were on standby to help with evacuations if needed.

‘This storm is extremely worrisome,’ said Michael Finkelstein, police chief and emergency management director in East Lyme, Connecticut. 

‘We haven’t been down this road in quite a while and there’s no doubt that we and the rest of New England would have some real difficulties with a direct hit from a hurricane.’

Emergency personnel rescue residents from flood waters brought on by Hurricane Sandy in Little Ferry, New Jersey in 2012

Emergency personnel rescue residents from flood waters brought on by Hurricane Sandy in Little Ferry, New Jersey in 2012

Homes in Fenwick Island, Delaware are surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy

Homes in Fenwick Island, Delaware are surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy

Dozens of destroyed homes and vehicles after a fire caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City in 2012

Dozens of destroyed homes and vehicles after a fire caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City in 2012

Finkelstein said he’s most concerned about low-lying areas of town that could become impossible to access because of flooding and a storm surge.

Thursday marked exactly 30 years since Hurricane Bob came ashore in Rhode Island as a Category 2 storm, killing at least 17 people and leaving behind more than $1.5 billion worth of damage. 

Bob, which left streets in coastal towns littered with boats blown free of their moorings, knocked out power and water to hundreds of thousands for days.

New York hasn’t had a direct hit from a major hurricane season storm since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012. 

Henri's track has been imprecise, leading New Englanders to brace for their first possible hurricane in 30 years earlier on Friday

Henri’s track has been imprecise, leading New Englanders to brace for their first possible hurricane in 30 years earlier on Friday

Ace hardware owner Kevin Simoneau shows photos of damage caused by Hurricane Bob over 30 years ago to customer Cheryl Fisher as she shops in preparation for Henri

Ace hardware owner Kevin Simoneau shows photos of damage caused by Hurricane Bob over 30 years ago to customer Cheryl Fisher as she shops in preparation for Henri

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 mansion-lined Dune Road on the Atlantic coast, into lagoons.

Ryan Murphy, the emergency management administrator for the Town of Southampton, said that while the storm’s track continues to evolve, ‘we have to plan as if it’s going to be like a Category 1 hurricane that would be hitting us.’

The Coast Guard has urged boaters along the East Coast to stay off the water, saying in a statement: ‘The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed.’

The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on the storm’s track. 



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