Disasters & Accidents

Weakened Henri still bringing heavy rain to northeastern US

New York, Aug 23 (EFE).- Henri has gradually weakened as it continues to move slowly along the northeastern coast of the United States, bit it is still forecast to bring heavy rainfall, flooding and even an isolated tornado or two on Monday to portions of southern New England.

In its latest bulletin on Henri, which was a hurricane over the weekend but is now a post-tropical cyclone, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the system packing maximum sustained winds of roughly 35 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour) is moving slowly toward the east-northeast, a path that will eventually take it out to sea.

Flood watches are in effect across portions of southeast New York and southern New England.

“The remnants of Henri will move back across southern New England today, possibly resulting in renewed flooding from scattered showers and thunderstorms that will be accompanied by torrential downpours. Also, an isolated brief tornado can’t be ruled out,” the Boston office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

The tropical depression is moving toward the east near 15 km/h, while its winds and gusts are expected to retain roughly the same level of strength over the next 24 hours, the NHC said.

Henri made landfall in Rhode Island on Sunday as a tropical storm after initially having been forecast to strike Long Island, New York state, and potentially cause extensive damage to Fire Island, a barrier island known for its protected beaches.

The system knocked out power to 140,000 homes between New Jersey and Maine, left streets flooded, toppled trees and forced the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at different airports in that region.

No fatalities were reported but first responders were called into action in Newark, New Jersey, where 86 people needed to be rescued after flooding resulted in multiple vehicles becoming submerged.

Between Saturday and Monday morning, the biggest rainfall amounts were registered in New Jersey, with more than 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) falling in some areas, followed by New York and Pennsylvania.

Through Monday night, rainfall amounts ranging between 2.5 cm-7.6 cm are forecast over southern to central New England.

The US federal government on Sunday approved emergency declarations for New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, a move that authorized the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to provide and coordinate disaster aid operations, including evacuation and shelter support.

FEMA spokesman Daniel Llargues said Monday that 1,000 employees had been deployed in the northeast region to provide emergency assistance and identify the needs of those states.

He also urged people to exercise caution. EFE


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