• The San Juan Daily Star

Henri, downgraded to a tropical storm, makes landfall in Rhode Island


By Andy Newman


After making landfall in southwestern Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Henri moved slowly northwest across the region, weakening quickly but still bringing heavy rain and 50-mph winds.


The storm had already left more than 135,000 homes without power from New Jersey to Maine. But heavy rain, strong winds and coastal flooding are expected to continue through Monday, and the National Hurricane Center said it expected the storm to slow further and linger near the border between Connecticut and New York on Sunday night.


There was some risk of tornadoes Sunday across southern New England, the National Weather Service said.


About three-quarters of the homes in coastal Washington County on Rhode Island, which is home to more than 125,000 people, were already without power when the storm made landfall there at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time.


Rainfall before the storm’s landing — a record 4.45 inches fell in Central Park in New York City on Saturday — crippled railroad service on Long Island and in southern New England and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights Sunday at the airports serving New York City. Widespread roadway flooding was reported in New York and New Jersey.


Firefighters in Newark, New Jersey, rescued 86 people, including 16 children, after “significant flooding” submerged multiple vehicles in several areas across the city, according to a statement from Brian O’Hara, director of Newark’s department of public safety.


After slowing down Sunday night, the heart of the storm is expected to move east and northeast across Connecticut and southern Massachusetts on Monday, then continue across southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before heading out to sea again.


Forecasts had warned of storm surges of up to 5 feet in some parts of the region. But as of Sunday afternoon, all of the storm surge warnings had been lifted, according to the hurricane center, though there was still the possibility of some localized surges.


Through Monday, 3-6 inches of rain were expected in New England, southeast New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania and Long Island and other parts of New York, the hurricane center said. Some pockets could see up to 12 inches.