The slow and sprawling storm system named Henri drenched much of the inland U.S. 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 centre 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, flooding and even tornadoes 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.
With rain still falling off and on, but with the sun finally peeking through at times, residents in parts of the northeast turned to cleaning up any damage so far.
A worker cleans the outside area of Four Boys Ice Cream store during the passing of Tropical Storm Henri in Jamesburg, N.J., on Monday. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press)Shelves and indoor store furniture from Four Boys Ice Cream store are removed to be cleaned. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press) ‘It’s a mess’
The smell of sewage filled the air in Rossmoor, a senior community in New Jersey, as people returned to their soaked homes and possessions.
Roseann and John Kiernan faced throwing out their appliances, ripping up walls and carpets and replacing their ruined car. Their house filled with nearly 60 centimetres of water on Sunday, leaving them without power.
“It’s a mess,” John Kiernan said.
WATCH | Henri leaves damage in its wake: Tropical storm Henri hits northeastern U.S.More than 11 million people are under a flash flooding alert in New York and New Jersey after tropical storm Henri brought heavy rain to the northeastern U.S. 2:01
Dolores Hebert recalled being ferried to safety by boat with her dog and cat as 20 centimetres of rain fell and water surged through the streets.
“I was sleeping and when I woke up, it was up to my knees,” said Hebert, 76, as she stood by a front door bearing watermarks almost half a metre high.
Gov. Phil Murphy visited the community, which remains under a flood warning until midnight, on Monday morning. He also planned to visit Helmetta, where about 200 residents fled their homes, and Jamesburg, where Henri flooded downtown streets.
Residents stand by their properties after the streets flooded during the passing of Tropical Storm Henri in Helmetta, N.J., on Monday. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press)The backyard of a house is seen partially flooded after the passing of Tropical Storm Henri in Helmetta, N.J., on Monday. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/The Associated Press)
In Manchester, Connecticut, a Hartford suburb some 64 kilometres 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 12.7 centimetres 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.
Flood watches remain in effect in New York
Parts of New York’s Hudson Valley, north of New York City, had gotten 10 centimetres of rain by Monday morning and had no power and flooded roads. An additional five centimetres 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 U.S. 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 2.5 to 7.6 centimetres was forecast over much of the area.
The system, now a tropical depression, was moving east at two km/h.
U.S. President Joe Biden has declared disasters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut, opening the purse strings for federal recovery aid to those states.
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