The slow and sprawling storm system named Henri drenched much of the inland Northeast with rain Monday, hampering cleanup efforts and threatening further flooding in areas with ground already saturated from a wet summer.
Rains from the storm, which spared coastal areas of New York and New England major damage when its center made landfall Sunday in Rhode Island as a tropical storm, deluged areas from New Hampshire to New York City and down to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Downpours and flooding were possible Monday in New England, where officials fretted that just a few more inches would be a back-breaker following a summer of record rainfall.
In Manchester, Connecticut, a Hartford suburb some 40 miles from the coast, Annette Landry hoped Monday’s rains wouldn’t repeat the flooding that left three units in her condominium complex under a few inches of water Sunday.
Firefighters said they helped evacuate 18 homes and performed several rescues after Henri dumped about 5 inches of rain in town, the highest total in the state.
“It was a tragedy that this happened, because the people who live here are people who can ill afford to live anywhere else,” said Landry, a 72-year-old retiree whose second-floor home was spared from the flooding from the overflowing Hop Brook. “It has never been this bad. I’ve lived here 40 years.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont planned Monday to tour storm damage in Canterbury, where hundreds of homes and businesses lost power.
More rain was forecast in New Jersey, where much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) had already fallen in some areas by Sunday and some areas were trying to clean up.
In the central New Jersey community of Helmetta, some 200 residents fled for higher ground, taking refuge in hotels or with friends and family, as flood waters inundated their homes Sunday.
In Jamesburg, Henri flooded downtown streets and almost submerged cars. In Newark, Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara said police and firefighters rescued 86 people in 11 incidents related to the storm.
Parts of New York’s Hudson Valley, north of New York City, had gotten 4 inches of rain by Monday morning and had no power and flooded roads. An additional couple of inches of rain was possible, and flood watches remained in effect.
Hundreds of customers had no power in Maine, but outages were minimal in Vermont and New Hampshire by Monday morning.
The National Hurricane Center said Henri’s remnants were expected to stall near the Connecticut-New York state line, creep eastward through New England and eventually push out to the Atlantic Ocean. Rainfall from 1 to 3 inches was forecast over much of the area.
The system, now a tropical depression, was moving east at just 1 mph (2 kph).
President Joe Biden has declared disasters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut, opening the purse strings for federal recovery aid to those states.
When Henri made landfall near Westerly, Rhode Island, it had sustained winds of about 60 mph (97 kph) and gusts as high as 70 mph (110 kph). It cut power, closed bridges and swamped roads on the coast, leaving some people stranded in their vehicles.
Concerns had been high in coastal New York and southern New England about a damaging storm surge before Henri was downgraded to a tropical storm.
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