Sunday June 23, 2024

Tropical Storm Henri hits Rhode Island

August 23, 2021

New York: Tropical Storm Henri slammed into Rhode Island on the US east coast Sunday, knocking out power to thousands of Americans, canceling scores of flights and bringing record rainfall.

The storm -- earlier downgraded from a Category 1 Hurricane -- hit land near the town of Westerly at approximately 12:15 PM (1615 GMT), the National Weather Service said. Henri is a rare tropical storm to hit America’s northeastern seaboard and comes as the surface layer of oceans warms due to climate change.

The warming is causing cyclones to become more powerful and carry more water, posing an increasing threat to the world’s coastal communities, scientists say. Millions of residents in New England and New York’s Long Island had been told to prepare for violent winds, possibly days without electricity and storm surges of up to five feet.

The US National Hurricane Center said Henri brought maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, lower than the 75 mph gusts feared earlier. Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee said there was "significant flooding" in areas. Initial reports from locals indicated that the storm was not as bad as some of the projections, though. "We dodged a bullet," James Kiker, a resident of Newport, Rhode Island, told AFP, saying he saw only "minimal damage" in his area, including a few broken branches. Residents on Long Island, home to the plush Hamptons villages where wealthy New Yorkers retreat in summer, expressed relief that the storm’s path had skirted east of them.