Long Island and New England Prepare for Rare Hurricane Strike

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As Hurricane Henri approaches the region, New York City prepared to unopen down metropolis beaches and Boston erected flood barriers astir its astir susceptible subway station.

Boats being taken retired  of the h2o  astatine  Safe Harbor Marina successful  Buzzards Bay, Mass., connected  Friday successful  mentation  for Hurricane Henri.
Credit...Joseph Prezioso/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Aug. 21, 2021, 3:38 p.m. ET

As Hurricane Henri churned up the East Coast connected Saturday, communities from New York City to Boston prepared for what would beryllium the archetypal hurricane to marque landfall connected Long Island oregon successful New England successful astatine slightest 30 years.

The governors of New York and Massachusetts activated members of the National Guard to marque high-water rescues and wide debris. The politician of New Haven, Conn., recommended that residents connected streets closest to the h2o voluntarily evacuate. And the inferior PSEG Long Island warned customers that powerfulness outages could past 7 to 10 days aft the storm.

Henri was projected to marque landfall connected Long Island oregon successful confederate New England arsenic a Category 1 tempest connected Sunday afternoon, though its precise way remained uncertain.

Dangerous tempest surge from Henri, which strengthened into a hurricane with 75-mile-per-hour winds connected Saturday morning, was projected successful parts of Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. But adjacent if it were to swerve toward New York City, a repetition of the harm from Hurricane Sandy was unlikely.

Residents were inactive scrambling to hole connected Saturday, with the Suffolk County executive, Steven Bellone, calling connected visitors and residents of Fire Island, which lies connected the confederate enactment of Long Island, to voluntarily evacuate.

“If they bash not permission the land today, they volition beryllium stuck,” helium warned.

When Tropical Storm Isaias tore done the portion past summer, helium said, Long Island experienced much than 600,000 powerfulness outages — and that tempest did not adjacent marque a nonstop hit. After PSEG Long Island told customers connected Friday astir the anticipation of lengthy outages, the Nassau County executive, Laura Curran, called it an “unacceptable” timetable.

Scott Hirsch, the longtime proprietor of the Island Mermaid successful Ocean Beach, a conception of Fire Island, said the edifice began to unopen down aboriginal connected Saturday morning. “It’s not our archetypal clip astatine the creation present with worldly similar this,” Mr. Hirsch said, earlier adding, “This one’s moving connected a scarier pattern.”

Southampton planned to contented a voluntary evacuation bid affecting 6,000 people, said the municipality supervisor, Jay Schneiderman, who expected different towns successful the Hamptons to travel its lead. “We don’t get that galore hurricanes,” helium said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, connected 1 of his last days successful office, said astatine a quality league helium was disquieted that due to the fact that of quick-moving forecasts, determination was little clip for officials and residents to prepare.

“I recognize we didn’t person the buildup that we had with Superstorm Sandy,” Mr. Cuomo said, noting that New Yorkers person had lone a time of warnings. “Don’t beryllium deceived by that. It’s due to the fact that the trajectory of the tempest changed.”

The politician said that New Yorkers should expect formation cancellations, and that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was preparing to cancel immoderate Long Island Rail Road work by midnight connected Saturday. He declared a authorities of exigency for Long Island, New York City and respective different regions of the state.

Officials besides began canceling different activities and events. All metropolis beaches volition beryllium closed for swimming connected Sunday and Monday. And the yearly TD Five Boro Bike Tour, which was scheduled for Sunday and expected to impact astir 20,000 riders, was postponed for a week due to the fact that of the utmost conditions.

Earlier, it looked much apt that the tempest would straight deed New England, sending customers to Adler’s Design Center & Hardware successful Providence, R.I., wherever they bought each of the store’s kerosene lamps earlier moving connected to flashlights and candles, said Leanne Dolloff, a cashier.

But adjacent then, galore longtime residents of the portion were skeptical that the tempest would beryllium excessively disruptive.

“We’re New Englanders, we tin grip it,” said Ms. Dolloff, 40, who remembers waking up to a floating furniture successful her Lowell, Mass., location erstwhile Hurricane Gloria — the past hurricane to marque landfall connected Long Island — swept done successful 1985.

Officials were preparing successful lawsuit Henri causes arsenic overmuch harm arsenic Gloria oregon Hurricane Bob, which tore its mode up the East Coast successful 1991. More than a twelve radical died successful each storm.

Gloria was a Category 1 tempest erstwhile it deed Long Island, forcing hundreds of thousands of radical to evacuate, bringing down thousands of trees and leaving 1.5 cardinal homes without power. Bob made landfall arsenic a Category 2 storm, and millions were affected by downed trees, powerfulness outages and flooding.

In Boston’s Seaport District, which was built upon the mud flats and brackish marshes on Boston Harbor aft that lashing, bars and restaurants similar Harpoon, Legal Sea Foods and Yankee Lobster had not made plans to adjacent for Henri. Farther east, successful the Cape Cod assemblage of Buzzards Bay, boats were being removed from the marina but small was being done to unafraid state grills oregon platform chairs.

Henri was expected to flood galore areas already inundated from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred.

In Boston, officials said they were gathering barriers astir the city’s astir susceptible subway presumption and would suspend immoderate transit services connected Sunday. Massachusetts saw dense rains connected Thursday that required exigency workers to retrieve radical from cars caught successful precocious water. When Tropical Storm Elsa traveled up the Northeast seashore earlier successful the summer, New York subway riders were forced to navigate waist-deep waters astatine immoderate stations.

Hurricane Sandy flooded subway and road tunnels successful New York successful 2012, knocking retired powerfulness to overmuch of Manhattan. But Sandy was a overmuch larger storm, devastating an country from New Jersey to Connecticut, and its size drove a catastrophic surge of seawater into New York Harbor.

Henri is not expected to person the aforesaid impact, and passengers waiting to committee the ferry from Boston to Provincetown connected Friday nighttime were cautiously optimistic that their plans would not beryllium foiled.

Gary Livolsi said helium had been done a batch of nor’easters and was contented simply making definite the umbrellas and cushions were not near connected his patio.

“I’m hoping they’re overestimating it, arsenic they often do,” said Susan Mahoney, who was disconnected to walk the play successful Provincetown but was afloat prepared to enactment longer if necessary. “I brought other wine.”

Troy Closson reported from New York and Ellen Barry from Boston. Reporting was contributed by Sophie Kasakove, Michael Gold and Adam Sobel from New York, Colleen Cronin from Providence, R.I., Catherine McGloin from Boston, and Beth Treffeisen from Dennis, Mass.

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