Hurricane Henri remains on track to slam into
Hurricane warnings are in effect along the shoreline from
Some isolated evacuations have begun in particularly flood-prone portions of shoreline towns, where officials are preparing for a “direct hit” and urging residents to take seriously their preparations for what is shaping up to be a historic storm event across
“This is going to be a team effort, this is going to be a very dangerous storm,”
Utility officials project 50% to 69% of Eversource’s 1.25 million customers statewide will lose power, a sharp increase from its projections of 30% to 49% on Friday, and officials have warned it could take eight to 21 days to complete restoration efforts after the storm ends.
He urged residents to prepare for what emergency management officials have called a “perfect storm” of high winds, heavy rainfall and several feet of storm surge — the last of which may only be compounded by Sunday’s midday high tide.
“I am impressed talking to local officials around the state about their preparations, this may not be a perfect storm, but it’s going to be close to it,” Blumenthal said. “The alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear because this storm is going to pack a powerful punch.”
Forecasters predict the storm will strengthen through the night and is expected to “be at or near hurricane strength” when it finally reaches the coasts of
Hurricane Henri remained far off the coast of
Local first responders and thousands of utility crews staged across the state throughout the day Saturday as grocery stores were packed with residents buying final supplies and long lines stretched around blocks for gas pumps that were beginning to empty in some places by the middle of the afternoon.
Eversource crews and contractors were staging at
“While we have a massive contingent of line and tree crews from across the country and
The utility’s dire projection that restorations could take up to three weeks to complete stands in stark contrast to its preparation ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias — during which about 1 million customers lost power and some remained in the dark for nine days, earning the utility the ire of residents, public officials, creditors and regulators.
Blumenthal warned that the utility must prove it has learned from that experience with its response to Henri.
“Eversource owes the people of
As much as 3 to 5 feet of storm surge has prompted several sets of evacuation orders across the coast, including mandatory evacuations in the southern part of
If Hurricane Henri makes landfall in
“We only have so many threats of this magnitude that ever crop up during a year or even a decade,” said
Rain is expected to start early in the day Sunday, intensify Sunday afternoon and evening and then continue into Monday.
The state could see as much as 8 inches of rainfall, he said. Central and western
The shoreline will see wind speeds of 45-65 mph generally, with a possibility of gusts as high as 70 mph. Lessor expects wind gusts in the inland part of the state to range as high as 45-60 mph. The wind will be strongest Sunday morning and early afternoon. Coastal flooding will also be a concern, he said.
“Obviously, stock up. Plan 5 days groceries, minimum,” he said. “Anything loose in the yard, secure it.”
“A decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the north-northwest is expected on Sunday,” according to the
“The more we look at it the worse it looks. Everyone’s got to get prepared,” he said. Everyone’s got to get the generators gassed up and do what you need to do, knowing you could be out of power for a week.”
Is the state ready?
Nolan said Friday that Eversource’s response would be “all hands on deck,” with more than 4,000 crews from across the country.
“You will see a massive presence of utility people in this state like you’ve never seen before,” Nolan said. “We’ll do everything we possibly can to get everyone back [in power] and get them back safely.”
United Illuminating, which serves communities on the shoreline from
The city’s public works crews already have been working since Thursday’s storm to clear drains and catch basins to try to prevent flooding and nearly every public works employee is expected to be called in to work by
Top officials have pleaded with residents to prepare in advance of the storm and to shelter in place once it begins early Sunday.
“Once this storm starts to hit, just stay put. Stay off the roads, don’t move around,” Bronin said Saturday. “Plan to play some board games or pick some good movies to watch. Unless you have to be out and driving around, just stay off the roads, stay home, stay put, let our teams do their work of responding.”
Lamont’s office said state emergency management officials and municipal representatives spoke with the governor Friday afternoon to coordinate preparedness efforts at the state and local levels.
All state campgrounds will close on Saturday at
Metro-North announced it would suspend service beginning
“Keep your phones charged, stock up on bottled water, make sure that you’re putting away anything that could become a flying projectile in heavy winds,” he said. “Most importantly, during the storm stay off the roads and shelter in place.”
“All these [wooden] boats mostly travel from long distances and will not be able to leave tomorrow into threatening weather,” he said. “Tomorrow afternoon we’ll work with all of them and reposition boats so they’re in the safest positions, make sure the personnel are safe, or [see] if there’s a way we can get people off of boats into a safer location.”
What’s causing the extreme weather?
“June was third-hottest June in 116 years, July was the third-wettest July in 116 years, so you went from the heat to the wetness,” Furey said. “We just had flooding rains yesterday and now we’re going to bring Henri in.”
Maxon said the heavy rainfall in July, plus the storm Thursday, could exacerbate the threat posed by Tropical Storm Henri.
“You throw [the storm] in with the saturated soil because of the rainy July we had, the third-wettest July on record, we had substantial and significant flooding yesterday, and we’re going to try to throw four-to-six inches of rain into this situation?” Maxon said. “That can lead to a lot of freshwater flooding, power outages and tree damage.”
Experts say extreme weather events are likely to become more common in
©2021 Hartford Courant. Visit courant.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.