ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical Storm Henri made landfall in Rhode Island early Sunday, packing heavy winds and drenching rains as it began lashing the northeastern U.S. coastline.
The storm knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and brought bands of rain that led to flash flooding from New Jersey to Massachusetts.
The storm was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, but still packed wind gusts of up to 70 mph. There were few early reports of major damage due to wind or surf, but officials warned of the danger of spot flooding in inland areas over the next few days.
Millions on New York’s Long Island and in southern New England braced for the possibility of flooding, toppled trees and extended power outages. Residents up and down the coast hoped to be spared the storm’s wrath but prepared for the worst.
Driving surf and sheets of rain scoured the beach towns of southern Rhode Island as the storm approached, leaving some coastal roads nearly impassable. Some small trees had already fallen to the winds and rain, which had swollen local inlets and creeks.
As of 2 p.m., the system was 5 miles east of Westerly, Rhode Island, and was still packing 50-mph sustained winds as it moved northwest at 9 mph., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Grace has dissipated over Mexico, but it’s remnants could re-develop in the Pacific Ocean. Since it’s low level center was completely destroyed, it will get a new name from the Pacific basin list. If Grace would have held any of its circulation, it would have continued to hold its original name.
Another disturbance is producing shower activity over the eastern tropical Atlantic near and to the southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Little, if any, development of this broad system is anticipated over the next couple of days. However, some gradual development is possible by the middle of the week as the system moves northwestward at 10 to 15 mph. There is 0% chance for development over the next two days and a 10% chance for development over the next five days.
A large plume of Saharan Dust will help to tame the tropics in the short term. Some of that dust will arrive in Florida as early as Sunday night.
After a very brief break, the tropics are expected to become active active again as we approach the peak of the season Sep 10.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.