Henri Brings Flooding, Power Outages to Northeast; Tennessee Floods Take 22 Lives

By Brian K. Sullivan | August 23, 2021

The remains of Tropical Depression Henri are drenching the U.S. Northeast with heavy rain, leaving floods and power outages as it makes its way across New England and out to sea.

The storm has saturated the region for two days, bringing record rain to New York City. Central Park got 7.12 inches through Sunday and saw its all-time rainiest hour late Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Minor and moderate flooding was occurring across northern New Jersey and southern New York, with some communities ordering evacuations Sunday.

“There will be continue heavy rainfall concerns for today,” said Bryan Jackson, a forecaster at the U.S. Storm Prediction Center. “It is stalled over southeast New York and isn’t going to move much until midday.”

A separate storm dumped heavy rain across western and central Tennessee late Friday and into Saturday, dropping as much as 17 inches in McEwen, a small town west of Nashville, said Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. At least 22 people died in the floods, according to the Associated Press. Others are missing.

Flood damaged areas in Waverly, Tennessee, during a Tennessee National Guard tour above the town on Aug. 22.

“What we have unfolding right now is a very tragic and difficult situation,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said Sunday in a televised briefing. “Tremendous loss of life, a number of missing people on the ground, homes washed off their foundations, cars strewn around the community, it is devastating picture of loss and heart ache.”

Henri, which made landfall in Westerly, Rhode Island, Sunday as a tropical storm, will dump an additional of 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 8 centimeters) of rain, with higher amounts possible over portions of Long Island, New England, southeast New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

“The flood threat has not yet ended!” the National Weather Service’s New York office warned in a tweet.

Flood warnings and watches stretch from eastern Pennsylvania to southern New Hampshire, the weather service said, but the sun will return to Manhattan Tuesday as temperatures climb to almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).

A high pressure ridge across the Canadian Maritimes has pinned Henri over New York, but the weather log-jam will break up as that wave crosses Ontario into Quebec and gets the weather patterns moving again, Jackson said.

About 50,000 homes and businesses are still without electricity in Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to Poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outages.

More than 1,100 flights were cancelled Sunday as Henri roared across southern New England. As of Monday, air travel had started to return to normal with few flights being reported scrubbed, according to Flight Aware.

With assistance from Josh Wingrove and Lars Paulsson

Read more:
Henri Dumped Record Amount of Rain on New York’s Central Park

Southern New England Ports Shut as Hurricane Henri Approaches

Tropical Storm Henri Could Be the Next $1 Billion Disaster

Henri’s Lumbering Pace Is Bad News for Wherever the Storm Hits

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