The millionaires’ playgrounds of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have been warned to prepare for their first hurricane since 1991 with Tropical Storm Henri strengthening as it moves towards New England.
The National Hurricane Center issued a rare hurricane watch for parts of New England as Henri strengthened to an ‘almost hurricane’ with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph as of Friday afternoon, just shy of the 74 mph winds needed to reach hurricane strength.
Forecasters have warned that Henri could bring hurricane-force winds, storm surges of between three and five feet and up to six inches of rain to the affected area, raising the possibility of severe floods. It includes the famed islands of Martha’s Vineyard – which recently hit the headlines for hosting Barack Obama’s star-studded 60th birthday party at the former president’s compound, as well as the equally smart neighboring island of Nantucket.
This weekend’s full moon is also likely to bring higher-than-normal tides, dramatically increasing the risk of serious floods if Henri does make landfall as a hurricane.
Meteorologists say much of the ground in the north east is already waterlogged, and say that wind and rains brought by Henri will likely down trees, and bring down powerlines, triggering outages.
The hurricane warning is in effect for the south shore of Long Island from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point and the north shore of Long Island from Port Jefferson Harbor to Montauk Point, and from New Haven, Connecticut, to west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
NHC also issued a tropical storm warning for Port Jefferson Harbor to west of New Haven, Connecticut, and for the south shore of Long Island from west of Fire Island Inlet to East Rockaway Inlet, CNN reported.
Tropical Storm Henri, pictured over the Atlantic on Friday morning, could bring wind, rain and storm surge impacts to at least parts of New England and Long Island beginning as soon as the late weekend
Current projections have Henri making landfall somewhere between eastern Long Island and Newport as a strong tropical storm Sunday afternoon
The National Hurricane Center issued a rare hurricane watch for parts of New England as Tropical Storm Henri strengthened to an ‘almost hurricane’ with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph as of Friday afternoon
The town hall of Wareham, Massachusetts, used its display to warn locals of Tropical Storm Henri Friday – amid fears it could hit the area as a hurricane
Boaters in Hyannis, Massachusetts lifted their vessels out of the water Friday in preparation for Storm Henri, which could be New England’s first hurricane since 1991
Current projections have Henri making landfall somewhere between eastern Long Island and Newport, Rhode Island as a strong tropical storm Sunday afternoon, CBS 4 reported.
Henri is set to strengthen into a hurricane while in warmer waters off US southern states, and forecasters say it is too early to say whether the colder north eastern waters could potentially slow it back down to a tropical storm.
The weather event could bring wind, rain and storm surge impacts to at least parts of New England and Long Island beginning as soon as the late weekend.
Henri is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of rainfall over Long Island and southern New England Sunday into Monday that could result in flash flooding and small stream flooding.
‘The soil is going to get saturated, in some places it’s already saturated,’ NHC Director Ken Graham said on Friday. ‘Put some winds on top of that, you’re going to knock down a lot of trees. You’re going to have power outages.’
Cheryl Fisher stocks up on supplies at Ace Hardware in Onset, Massachusetts, as Tropical Storm Henri approaches New England, amid fears it could become a hurricane
A sailboat is hauled out of the water in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Friday ahead of Henri’s predicted arrival on Sunday
Due to a full moon this weekend, tides will run higher than normal which could worsen the impact of any storm surge flooding, The Weather Channel reported.
Tropical-storm-force winds could reach southern New England by Sunday morning and could be prolonged once they arrive. Hurricane-force winds are also a concern in the hurricane watch area for Sunday.
New England’s hurricane watch comes almost exactly 30 years after Hurricane Bob- the last hurricane to hit Massachusetts when it made landfall on August 19, 1991
Hurricane Bob made landfall as a Category 2 storm and caused significant damage on Long Island and in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts
In addition, high surf and life-threatening rip currents could impact beaches from parts of the Southeast to the mid-Atlantic by the end of the week, the Weather Channel reported.
The high surf and rip currents will then spread northward up the East Coast this weekend.
New England’s hurricane watch comes almost exactly 30 years after Hurricane Bob- the last hurricane to hit Massachusetts when it made landfall on August 19, 1991.
Hurricane Bob made landfall as a Category 2 storm and caused significant damage on Long Island and in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the New York Times reported.
More than a dozen people died in the storm, and millions were affected by damage caused by the 100 MPH winds which included downed trees, power outages and flooding.
Before Friday, it had been nearly 10 years since a Hurricane Watch had been issued for southern New England, NBC Boston reported.
That warning ultimately proved to be a false alarm – but the area is taking no chances with Henri.
In preparation for the extreme weather, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker activated the state’s National Guard Friday, with 1,000 guardsman to help with highwater rescue and debris clearing.
Governor Baker did not call for evacuations bus asked residents to avoid roads on Sunday and Monday and to stay home over the weekend.
Baker also said he anticipates anywhere between 100,000 to 300,000 power outage and warned residents to take Henri seriously.
‘We all need to take this storm extremely seriously,’ the governor said at a news conference. ‘The simple point here is, we really would like everybody to be off the road at the height of this storm.’