Henri, a slow-moving storm, drenches Northeast US

Tropical Storm Henri socked the Northeast with strong winds as it made landfall Sunday on the coast of Rhode Island and sent lashing bands of rain westward, knocking out power to over 140,000 homes and causing deluges that closed bridges, swamped roads and left some people stranded in their vehicles.

Henri, a slow-moving storm, drenches Northeast US

Although the storm was no longer a hurricane when it reached New England, many were relieved to hear that the storm had been downgraded from a hurricane. However, the National Hurricane Center warned that the storm would continue to dump heavy rains across large swathes of the region long after the weekend.

Two days of heavy, sustained rains in the southwest flooded New Jersey and New York. It even reached tropical depression status.

Overnight, the storm was expected to stall at the New York-Connecticut border. However, it quickly turned east and moved out towards the Atlantic Ocean Monday. The inland areas were likely to see the most precipitation. Early reports did not indicate any major damage to the coast from wind or waves.

On Sunday, President Joe Biden promised federal assistance to those in need. President Joe Biden declared many disasters in the region, which opened the door to federal assistance.

Biden earlier had offered his condolences to the people of Tennessee, after severe flooding from an unrelated storm killed at least 22, including young children and elderly people, and left dozens of others missing.

When it made landfall near Westerly, Rhode Island, Henri had sustained winds of about 60 mph and gusts of up to 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Henri was moving across Connecticut towards New York at a speed of 30 mph (48 km/h) by Sunday night.

The storm's center was not far away from the worst of the rain. Around 200 people fled Helmetta, New Jersey to seek higher ground. They stayed with friends or in hotels as flood waters inundated their homes.

Christopher Slavicek said that it happened so quickly -- in the blink a eye." His parents had fled their home and were now spending the night with Christopher Slavicek.

"Now it's clean up. "This is far from over," said the mayor.

Some areas in central New Jersey were inundated by as much as 8 in (20 cm) of rain on Sunday afternoon. Television footage from Jamesburg showed streets inundated and cars nearly submerged in the downtown area.

Brian O'Hara, Public Safety Director in Newark, stated that firefighters and police rescued 86 people from 11 storm-related incidents. Multiple vehicles were submerged in floodwaters because of the flooding, he said.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, "This could have turned out worse, especially in the wind area." Sunday night, Phil Murphy spoke.

Connecticut Governor Connecticut Gov. Around 250 residents of four nursing homes along the shoreline were forced to relocate to other nursing homes.

Many bridges that connect Rhode Island to the rest of the state were temporarily closed Sunday. Some coastal roads were almost impassible.

Paul and Cherie Saunders, from Newport, rode out the storm in the home her family had owned since the 1950s. Nine years ago, their basement was flooded by 5 feet of water from Superstorm Sandy.

Cherie Saunders (68) said that the house had been through many hurricanes and many other events. "We will just wait and see what happens," said Cherie Saunders, 68.

Rhode Island has been repeatedly hit by tropical storms and hurricanes, including Superstorm Sandy (2012), Irene (2011) and Hurricane Bob (1991). Providence suffered so much flooding damage in Hurricane Carol's 1938 hurricane and Hurricane Carol's 1954 hurricanes that it constructed a hurricane barrier in 1960 to protect its downtown from the storm surge that would come up Narragansett bay. The barrier and the newer gates were shut down for several hours on Sunday before they were reopened.

The National Weather Service reported that Central Park was hit by 1.94 inches of torrential rain between 10 and 11 Saturday. Heavy rains forced thousands of people to leave a Homecoming concert in the park earlier in the evening.

The hurricane center predicted that Henri would "lose its identity" after passing through New England.

The rest of New England and northeast Pennsylvania are still bracing for heavy rains.

Marshall Shepherd, former president of American Meteorological Society and director of the University of Georgia's atmospheric sciences program, stated that Henri reminded him of Hurricane Harvey. This slow-moving storm decimated Houston in 2017.

"To the west of the storm, there is a banding feature which has literally been stationary -- sitting down and dumping rain. Shepherd stated that this will pose a major hazard to the New York and New Jersey areas.

Many were relieved that New York City was largely spared by Tropical Storm Irene, which roared up the Atlantic coast in August 2011. The storm then settled over Vermont's Green Mountains and Irene became Vermont's worst natural disaster since the 1927 flood. In just 24 hours, parts of the state received 11 inches of rain. Six people were killed in Vermont by Hurricane Irene. Thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by the storm, as well as more than 200 bridges.

Robert Welch, a podcaster and tweeter, said Sunday, "I recall Irene, media outlets outside Vermont, brushing it aside, as if it wasn't a big deal while Vermont was hit by it." "I'll be relaxed when I see it at sea, on radar."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made one final appearance before he will resign at Monday's end over a scandal involving sexual harassment. Andrew Cuomo stated that the main concern of the state was inland areas such as the Hudson River Valley north of New York City. It was expected to receive inches of rain in the coming days.

Cuomo stated, "In the Hudson Valley, you have hills and you have creeks. The water runs down those hills and transforms a creek into an ravaging river."

Although major airports throughout the region were open, hundreds of Sunday flights were cancelled. Amtrak service between New York City and Boston was also suspended on Sunday for some branches of New York City’s commuter rail system.

Power outages caused power loss to 130,000 homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as New York.

Connecticut's largest electric utility claimed it had restored 20,000 customers, but thousands such as Linda Orlomoski who lives in Canterbury remained without power.

"I haven’t seen any trucks in my neighborhood, but the other end of my street had their power restored before six p.m. She said, "So close yet so far!" It's expected to heat up and become humid on Tuesday. If we don't have power by then, it will be awful."

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