Category one Hurricane Henri (pronounced ON-ree) forced storm alerts for 42 million Americans – including in New York City – with anticipated landfall Sunday on the Northeast coast. Strong wind and rain will likely smack a broad area from New York City into New England. “We need to take this storm very seriously. We’re going to see power outages, we’re going to see downed trees, and even after the storm has passed, the threat of falling trees and limbs is still out there,” Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell told media. Surges between 3 and 5 feet are possible Sunday in areas including parts of Long Island to Chatham, Massachusetts. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned people n a televised news briefing Saturday.
Long Island has not had a direct hurricane hit since Gloria in 1985; New England last saw a hurricane landfall with Hurricane Bob in 1991. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and to delay weekend getaways to Cape Cod. All beaches in the New York area will close Sunday and Monday, according to city officials. Swimming and wading will not be permitted during those days. Power outages for seven to 10 days are a big risk in a large area. In addition to hurricane conditions and dangerous surge, heavy rainfall may lead to considerable flooding. There will also be associated marine and coastal hazards, including very rough seas and dangerous rip currents. Tornadoes may occur Sunday over southern New England.