LIVE BLOG: Hurricane Henri arrives in Connecticut

Gisela Steep

Tropical depression Henri has caused major flooding across the state. CONNECTICUT, USA — Tropical Storm Henri made landfall at 12:15 p.m. near Westerly, Rhode Island with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.  Full forecast on Tropical Storm Henri Cities like Hartford and New Haven setting up shelters for those who […]

Tropical depression Henri has caused major flooding across the state.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Tropical Storm Henri made landfall at 12:15 p.m. near Westerly, Rhode Island with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. 

Full forecast on Tropical Storm Henri

Cities like Hartford and New Haven setting up shelters for those who need it, and the City of Middletown is under a state of emergency.

Gov. Lamont has also declared a state of emergency for the entire state ahead of the storm.

To get the latest on Henri – from the most update forecast to images from across Connecticut – text “STORM” to 860-527-6161.

Eversource is expected widespread outages. 

Eversource: 8,446
 United Illuminating: 64

Norwich Public Utilities: 508 (numbers refreshed every few hours)

Where are the stations with gas in my area ahead of Tropical Storm Henri?

Updates:

9:30 p.m.

President Joe Biden tweeted Sunday night warning people who need to seek shelter due to Henri, should also wear a mask and try to observe social distancing due to COVID-19. 

The president then advised people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

7:45 p.m.

Officials in Old Saybrook are thankful that they were spared as Tropical Storm Henri came through the state on Sunday. 

Officials said in a statement: “In less than a day the weather forecast went from a category 1 hurricane making landfall near or at Old Saybrook, to a weak tropical storm to a minor rain event.”

Through the afternoon, strong winds continued to batter the shore in town, where many residents had boarded up windows of homes. 

6 p.m.

Gov. Ned Lamont held a press conference providing updates on Tropical Storm Henri in Connecticut. 

He said that the state was fortunate that the storm was not as bad as it was in Rhode Island. He thanked the utility workers across the state and said they will likely be headed to Rhode Island soon. 

Lamont added the risk of flooding in the state tonight and tomorrow, warning residents to be smart.  

DEEP and DPH are advising the public against swimming or other water contact recreation over the next 72 hours due to Tropical Henri. 

Officials say that due to the storm, many areas in Connecticut have experience “discharges of untreated sewage.” 

Residents are asked to avoid surface water in areas close to drainage pipes, particularly in cities like Bridgeport, Hartford, Norwalk, Norwich, and the greater New Haven area. 

DEEP and DPH are advising residents not to swim, fish, or use paddle craft in these areas. 

5:45 p.m.

The Enfield Town Manager posted on their Facebook page about a “significant” water erosion issue on Abbe Road between Jewel and Grant Road. 

That section of Abbe Road will be open to local traffic only and closed to through traffic. Detours will be posted. 

5:30 p.m. 

The mandatory evacuation order that was issued in Groton as part of the Hurricane State of Emergency has been lifted. Residents can return to their homes. 

FOX61’s Matt Caron was in Old Saybrook, which is experiencing strong winds. 

5:15 p.m.

Major flooding in Manchester was reported as Henri continues its path north. This video was submitted to FOX61 by a viewer. Video Credit: Kristin M

4:45 p.m. 

I-91 northbound in Wethersfield has been reopened following a crash between Exits 25 and 27. 

4:15 p.m.

Gov. Lamont announced that all empty tractor-trailers, tandem tractor-trailers, and motorcycle travel ban on I-95 has will be lifted at 5 p.m. 

The governor did urge everyone to stay off the roads as much as possible until the storm passes. 

4 p.m.

FOX61’s Matt Caron explains the red flags up at Saybrook Point during Henri

Not a day goes by where we don’t learn something in TV news. Today, while reporting at Saybrook Point I noticed two red flags with black squares directly below the American flag. 

I had a feeling these were nautical flags meant to guide sailors and seamen and maritime explorers. 

There are many different nautical flags with various meanings. I discovered the red with black squares mean a Hurricane Warning is in effect. If there is only one flag it means there is a hurricane watch. Now I know!

3:30 p.m. 

Apple Rehab releases update after four facilities evacuated head of Henri:

“The management team at Apple Rehab determined after observing and learning of the potential impact of then Hurricane Henri throughout the day on Friday to evacuate four facilities on the shoreline.

After consulting with all local emergency officials, the Department of Public Health, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman office, the following facilities were ordered to evacuate, Apple Rehab West Haven, Apple Rehab Saybrook, Apple Rehab Guilford, and Apple Rehab Mystic.

Families and responsible parties were updated on our decision which we believe as in the best safety interests of its residents and staff.

All residents have been safely placed in facilities throughout the state and our staff continue to follow up with each resident. Staff from these facilities have been redirected to other facilities as needed.

We thank our family members, state and local officials and most of all our staff for taking this appropriate proactive measure.

We will continue to communicate with residents and families and plan to move residents back to their home facilities early in the week.”

3:15 p.m.

From the National Weather Service:  Between 2 and 3.5 inches of rain has fallen in Manchester and the expected rainfall rate is 1 inch in 1 hour. A dozen people in a condo complex had been affected but it is not an emergency situation, according to Dan French, the FEMA Director.

3:00 p.m. 

Multiple incidents were reported due to flash flooding on I-91 north in Wethersfield

Hartford County is under a flash flood warning until 5:30 p.m. as Tropical Storm Henri continues its path across the state, bringing heavy rain with it. The storm made landfall in Westerly, Rhode Island at 12:15 p.m. 

2:40 p.m.

New Haven Mayor Elicker says people who were asked to evacuate because they were in flood-prone areas are able to return home now. 

2:30 p.m. 

Guilford police indicate areas in town where trees and wires have blocked roads:

Several common areas of flooding on Route 146 and an area by Lake Quonnipaug are marked by DOT signage.

  • 2400 Long Hill Rd -tree down/no wires/road open/DPW moved to side of road
  • 50 Flat Meadow Rd – limb down/no wires/DPW moved to side of road/road open
  • 21 Edward St – limb down/DPW moved to side of road/road open
  • Conway Drive – trees down involving wires/road blocked
  • 18 Old Sachem’s Head Rd – tree down on wires/road blocked

Stay up to date on the Guilford Police Department’s Facebook page.

2:15 p.m.

Eversource said that due to Henri’s impacts, they do not believe they will need 21 days to restore power to the state. They expect to have another update when the storm subsides and crews can assess the damage.

2:10 p.m. 

Over 30,000 customers are without power across Connecticut as Henri continues its path.

All Highland Park Market locations will be closing at 2:30 pm today.

2 p.m. 

The National Weather Service says all storm surge warnings have been canceled as Tropical Storm Henri continues to pass through the state. Officials said maximum sustained winds have decreased to 50 mph. 

The NWS said Henri is expected to stall near the Connecticut-New York border tonight while weakening over land.

A flash flood warning is in effect until 4:15 p.m. for New Haven County and until 5:30 p.m. for Hartford County.

1:45 p.m. 

Blue sky seen in Stonington, Mystic area as Henri continues its path across the state 

1:30 p.m 

A flash flood warning is in effect until 5:30 p.m. Counties included: Tolland, Hartford, Windham Flooding is occurring or may happen any moment. Rivers/streams could rise rapidly

Gov. Lamont provided an update this afternoon as Tropical Storm Henri continues to move through the state. 

Four nursing homes, all Apple Rehabs in Guilford, Saybrook, Mystic, and West Haven were evacuated out of caution. Officials say residents have been moved to another facility. 

1:20 p.m. 

Derby Mayor Richard Dzieland declares a state of emergency with Tropical Storm Henri.

1:15 p.m. 

Over 25,000 customers are without power as Henri continues to march through the state. 

12:50 p.m.

Flash flood warnings were issued for southern New Haven and Middlesex Counties until 4:15 p.m. 

12:35 p.m. 

The National Weather Service says Tropical Storm Henri has made landfall near Westerly, Rhode Island around 12:15 p.m. 

At the time of landfall, maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 60 mph.

12:30 p.m. 

Town of Groton Town Manager John Burt has declared a state of emergency due to the impact of Tropical Storm Henri. 

Town of Groton – Emergency Management and Police Department urges citizens to stay indoors until the storm has passed for their own safety and for the safety of first responders. 

The Town of Groton opened the shelter at Fitch High School, 101 Groton Long Point Road, Groton, CT as of 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 21 for those seeking refuge. COVID precautions will still be in place and citizens are required to wear face masks while in the shelter. Prior to entering the shelter staff will screen each individual with COVID-related questions as well as a temperature check. Staff will provide additional guidance as needed.

If you have an emergency please call 911. If you need to contact the Groton Emergency Communications Center they can be reached at 860-445-2000 or 860-445-2497 24 Hours a day.  

12:25 p.m. 

Over 21,000 Eversource customers are without power as Henri continues its path across the state. Widespread outages were predicted with the storm. 

12:15 p.m. 

It’s all hands on deck at the State Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, where multiple agencies are preparing for intense flooding and widespread power outages in wake of Henri.

Officials are anticipating anywhere from eight to 21 days without power in some areas.

“I promise you, we’re going to hit the ground running,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “We’re going to go after those biggest concentrations if there’s an outage, take care of those folks first…no 21 days. No way.”

From the National Guard to the American Red Cross, officials have set out an emergency response plan for servicing Connecticut residents before, during and after the storm.

Read more on Lamont’s response on Henri here.

12 p.m. 

NEW LONDON – RT85 Both Directions CLOSED at Montville/Waterford town line because of Debris tree down with wires in Roadway.

11:50 a.m. 

Hamden Mayor Curt Leng has declared a public emergency as Tropical Storm Henri marches across the state, citing Gov. Lamont declaring a civil preparedness emergency for the state. 

11:30 a.m. 

In an update with Gov. Lamont, he says Eversource has double the teams out there as opposed to Isaias last year and says the power companies are keeping Gov. Lamont and mayors informed. Eversource on Saturday said it may take 8-21 days for some outages to be resolved. 

“I guarantee you, we’re going to hit the ground running we’re going to go after those biggest concentrations, if there’s an outage, take care of those folks first,” said Lamont. “No 21 days, no way.” 

11:25 a.m. 

Over 10,000 Eversource customers are without power as Tropical Storm Henri shifts track and heads toward Hartford area. The town with the largest amount of outages is Canterbury in the eastern section of the state with 1,545.

11:15 a.m. 

Henri is a slightly weaker storm but has changed track, heading west for the Hartford Metro area. 

11:05 a.m. 

 We hear a lot about the president declaring a disaster area after a storm or an earthquake, but what does that mean?

A Federal Disaster Declaration means the governor or tribal leader has decided the situation is beyond the state’s ability to respond adequately and federal assistance is needed.  

Read more about disaster declarations here. 

11 a.m. 

The National Weather Service says Tropical Storm Henri has slowed down to 12 mph bringing dangerous storm surge, strong gusty winds, and flooding rainfall across the region. It is currently located 50 miles south-southwest of Providence, Rhode Island.

A flash flood warning has been issued for New London County until 12:45 p.m.

10:50 a.m. 

Heavy rain reported in Old Saybrook. 

10:40 a.m.

Crystal Mall is closed today, 8/22, due to inclement weather. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate conditions.

10:30 a.m 

Lake Compounce will be closed today due to tropical storm Henri

10:20 a.m. 

Westfarms Mall will be closed today due to the weather. 

New Haven Mayor Elicker says it’s quiet at the time in the city but flooding remains a concern especially among the east shore. He said 33 people are at one of the opened shelters, and they expect the impacts to really hit around 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin discusses the impacts of Tropical Storm Henri on the city. When talking about emergencies, Bronin says that if you are in kind of threat or see any threat you can call 911 immediately. If there is something you want to call the city’s attention to like a downed tree blocking a roadway, you can call 860-757-4000.

10:15 a.m.

A view from the West Haven boat ramp on April Street from viewer Joe Tomaso

10:05 a.m.

Tropical Storm Henri is slowing down as it begins its final approach to Connecticut and Rhode Island. The National Weather Service says sustained winds of 43 mph was recorded by Point Judith, Rhode Island. The storm is now 60 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island.

Maximum winds are recorded at 65 mph. 

10 a.m. 

Babcock Road in the 300 block in Tolland is closed due to a tweet down and wires down on the road. 

Travel is being impacted in Connecticut and Southern New England as Henri begins its final approach.

9:45 a.m. 

Damage seen at the base of East Rock in Hamden

9:20 a.m. 

Sen. Chris Murphy spoke at a press conference in Hartford this morning about Henri and the emergency response.

Murphy said officials have been in constant touch with FEMA over the last 48 hours and they have pre-positioned assets in the New England region including generators food and water that can be brought to CT as early as today for the response. 

“We have already sent to the government a pre-disaster declaration request,” said Murphy. “That will help us get reimbursement to the state and to towns more quickly. Once this gets declared a disaster, I think our expectation is that we’ll hit that threshold in some counties in Connecticut, we qualify for federal reimbursement.”

Depending on how bad this storm is, Murphy said the state may seek supplemental appropriations. 

Murphy asked that residents keep an eye on vulnerable neighbors throughout the week due to expected power outages and high temperatures forecasted later in the week.

9:10 a.m.

Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that President Joe Biden has approved his request for Connecticut to receive a presidential pre-landfall emergency declaration in advance of Tropical Storm Henri impacting the state. The declaration means that the federal government will provide the state with assistance in anticipation of the storm’s impact.

8:35 a.m. 

AAA urges motorists to take care while on the roads today.

  • Take it slow – reducing your speed is the best way to avoid a crash or losing control of your vehicle
  • Turn on your headlights – so you can see and be seen
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car and potentially stall your engine.  Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. Turn around; find another way to get to your destination.  Pull over to a safe location if needed.
  • Never drive through standing water – Standing water can be deceiving and motorists should avoid it. No matter how shallow it may appear, the water may be concealing downed power lines or other obstacles
  • Watch for hydroplaning – No car is immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces, including four-wheel-drive vehicles. Even if brakes work under normal conditions that doesn’t mean they will react the same on slippery roads where tires roll with less traction.
  • Don’t use cruise control – Always maintain full control of your vehicle when roads are wet
  • Take the nearest exit – If conditions worsen to the point where there is any doubt about your safety, take the nearest exit. Don’t just stop on the shoulder or under a bridge. If your visibility is compromised, other drivers may be struggling too.
  • Respond to a skid – If you do lose control of your vehicle and start to skid/hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts – alerts are often provided by agencies like the National Weather Service and can help notify you when there is a risk of flooding.

8:30 a.m. 

Rain picks up at Morris Cove in New Haven

8:15 a.m. 

Pratt & Whitney facilities in Connecticut (East Hartford and Middletown) will be closed from 6 a.m. Sunday, August 22 through 6 a.m. Monday, August 23.

8 a.m.

From the National Weather Service: Hurricane warnings in Connecticut have been changed to a Tropical Storm Warning as Henri approaches. The storm is 75 miles away from Providence, Rhode Island with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. 

7:45 a.m. 

Wind and surf picks up at Stonington Point.

7:20 a.m.

A look at New London Harbor as Henri approaches

7:15 a.m. 

Winds pick up in Stonington as Tropical Storm Henri closes in on Connecticut

7 a.m. 

Henri downgraded to Tropical Storm as it approaches Connecticut.

The National Weather Service said at 7 a.m. that Henri’s outer bands are moving onshore in eastern Long Island and southern New England. It was currently about 85 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Tropical conditions continue to spread across portions of southern New England.

Clouds move into Hartford as some rain begins from Henri. 

6:30 a.m. 

According to the National Weather Service, as of 6 a.m., Hurricane Henri was 120 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Mandatory and recommended evacuations are in place as Henri closes in on the shoreline

6:15 a.m. 

Heavy rain begins in Stonington as Henri approaches. 

New Haven is bracing for effects from Henri

5 a.m. 

Metro-North Railroad service changes

On Sunday, August 22, Metro-North will suspend service on the Wassaic Branch of the Harlem Line and on the entire New Haven Line, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury Branches. Service will operate every two hours on the Hudson and Harlem Lines, and there will be no buses on the Waterbury branch.

For more information head to the MTA’s website

12 a.m. 

Gov. Lamont implements empty tractor-trailer, tandem tractor-trailer, and motorcycle ban on I-95 beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday due to Hurricane Henri. 

“During peak periods of the storm, the heavy rain and strong winds will make travel unsafe, particularly along the coast in the area of I-95,” Governor Lamont said. “I encourage everyone to stay off the roads on Sunday and into Monday morning to the greatest extent possible.”


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