Coastal evacuations urged as Hurricane Henri heads north

4 weeks ago 14
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People evacuated fashionable formation communities and made last-minute runs connected batteries and gasoline arsenic Hurricane Henri churned person to Long Island and confederate New England, portion officials pleaded with the millions of radical successful the storm’s way to brace themselves for torrential rainfall and tempest surges.

Hurricane Henri was connected people to collide Sunday successful the precocious greeting oregon day with a agelong long of coastline, arsenic hurricane warnings extended from adjacent the aged whaling larboard of New Bedford, Massachusetts, crossed the luxurious oceanfront estates of New York’s Hamptons, to the summertime getaway of Fire Island.

Intense winds and perchance unsafe tidal surges were expected arsenic acold eastbound arsenic Cape Cod and arsenic acold westbound arsenic the New Jersey shore, and utilities warned ensuing powerfulness outages could past a week oregon adjacent more. Governors urged radical to enactment location during the brunt of the storm.

Henri was veering a spot further westbound than primitively expected, placing eastbound Long Island successful its bull’s-eye alternatively than New England. That gave radical straight successful the storm’s way little clip to prepare.

A mandatory evacuation bid was issued for immoderate residents closest to the h2o successful Madison, Connecticut. First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons wrote successful a nationalist notice, that immoderate “residents who bash not permission the evacuation portion by 9 p.m. contiguous are putting their lives astatine hazard and nationalist information crews volition not beryllium capable to respond to you erstwhile winds transcend 50 mph.”

Residents and visitors connected Fire Island, a constrictive portion of sandy villages hardly supra oversea level disconnected Long Island’s confederate coast, were urged to evacuate. The past boats retired volition permission astatine 10:40 p.m. Saturday; aft that, officials said, determination whitethorn beryllium nary mode retired for radical who determine to thrust retired the storm.

The evacuation threw a wrench into Kristen Pavese’s planned Fire Island bachelorette party. The radical of 10 had intended to observe retired connected Saturday night, but ended up leaving connected the ferry conscionable a time aft arriving. They had planned to enactment until Monday.

“I’m upset astir it, but it’s the weather. It’s thing I tin control,” said Pavese, a Long Island resident. “I’ve been going to Fire Island for a agelong time, truthful I’m benignant of acquainted with this happening.”

The radical made alternate Saturday nighttime plans astatine a Long Island winery, and Pavese said she was blessed to inactive beryllium with her friends.

Approaching terrible upwind Saturday nighttime besides halted a superstar-laden performance successful Manhattan’s Central Park. The amusement headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson was meant to observe New York City’s betterment from the coronavirus. But officials asked concert-goers to permission the parkland during Barry Manilow’s acceptable amid the menace of lightning. It was unclear whether the amusement would beryllium resumed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded with New York residents to marque last-minute preparations, informing that dense rain, winds and tempest surges from Henri could beryllium arsenic devastating arsenic Superstorm Sandy successful parts of the state. The governor, who volition permission bureau successful 2 days pursuing a intersexual harassment scandal, warned that dense rains were expected to make problems acold up into the Hudson River Valley.

“We person abbreviated notice. We’re talking astir tomorrow,” Cuomo said. “So if you person to move, if you person to banal up, if you person to get to higher ground, it has to beryllium today. Please.”

Gov. Ned Lamont warned Connecticut residents they should hole to “shelter successful place” from Sunday day done astatine slightest Monday greeting arsenic the authorities braces for the archetypal imaginable nonstop deed from a hurricane successful decades. In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee likewise urged authorities residents enactment astatine location Sunday and into Monday morning.

“We see this a superior matter,” McKee said astatine a quality conference.

Officials said Logan International Airport successful Boston was expected to stay open, but that immoderate flights apt would beryllium canceled. And work connected immoderate branches of New York City’s commuter obstruction strategy volition beryllium suspended Sunday. Amtrak work Sunday betwixt New York and Boston was cancelled.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker expressed alleviation Saturday that the latest models suggest Henri won’t marque a nonstop deed connected the state.

But Baker and McKee astatine abstracted briefings warned that precocious winds and dense rains inactive could pb to wide and lengthy powerfulness outages.

The White House said President Joe Biden discussed preparations with northeastern governors and that New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who succeeds Cuomo connected Tuesday, besides participated.

Biden aboriginal began approving exigency declarations with Rhode Island.

New York hasn’t had a nonstop deed from a almighty cyclone since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc successful 2012. Some of the astir important repairs from that tempest person been completed, but galore projects designed to support against aboriginal storms stay unfinished.

With a apical upwind velocity of 75 mph (120 kph) Saturday, Henri sped up to determination north-northeast astatine 18 mph (29 kph) arsenic of Saturday evening. It’s inactive astir 335 miles (540 kilometers) southbound of Montauk Point connected Long Island.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the municipality was considering issuing a voluntary evacuation advisory for astir 6,000 people. He said tempest models showed that the storm’s halfway would tally “smack connected the municipality of Southampton.” He described a tally connected supplies similar batteries and flashlights arsenic radical “are starting to aftermath up.”

Regardless of its nonstop landfall, wide impacts were expected crossed a ample swath of the Northeast, extending inland to Hartford, Connecticut, and Albany, New York, and eastward to Cape Cod, which is teeming with tens of thousands of summertime tourists.

Storm surge betwixt 3 and 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters) is imaginable from Flushing, New York, to Chatham, Massachusetts, and for parts of the North Shore and South Shore of Long Island, the hurricane halfway said.

Rainfall betwixt 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimeters) is expected Sunday done Monday.

Officials successful Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York cautioned that radical could suffer powerfulness for days. Authorities advised radical to unafraid their boats, substance up their vehicles and banal up connected canned goods.

In the Hamptons, the personage playground connected Long Island’s eastbound end, officials warned of unsafe rip currents and flooding that’s apt to crook streets similar the mansion-lined Dune Road into lagoons.

“We person a batch of affluent people. There’s nary uncertainty that we do, but everybody pulls unneurotic successful an emergency,” Schneiderman said. “So, you know, yeah, determination are radical hanging retired connected their yachts astatine the infinitesimal drinking martinis, but they’re besides starting to speech astir this tempest and I’m definite they’re going to privation to beryllium helpful.”


Hill reported from Albany, New York. Associated Press writers Mallika Sen and Larry Neumeister successful New York, Mike Melia successful Hartford, Connecticut, and Mark Pratt successful Waltham, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.

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