- Henry could arrive ashore as a hurricane on Sunday between Long Island and Cape Cod.
- A storm surge, up to 5 feet in some areas, could be among the biggest storm threats.
- In North Carolina, 5 people are still listed as missing due to flooding from tropical storm Fred.
NEW YORK – Tropical Storm Henry, which was predicted to become a hurricane by late Friday or early Saturday, had the Northeast in mind as the storm’s path was constantly moving closer to the mainland.
To the mainland along Long Island or southern New England on Sunday morning or afternoon is now most likely, the National Hurricane Center said Friday afternoon.
Threatening to bring harmful winds, as much as 10 inches of rain and up to 5 feet of storm surge, Henry could be the first significant hurricane to reach the mainland in New England in years.
The storm caused a storm memories of Hurricane Bob, which reached the mainland 30 years ago at Cape Cod, cutting off electricity and water for days. Bob was the last hurricane to hit Cape Cod and the islands.
The impact of each storm is a little different, and with Henry, a storm surge could be a significant threat, said Da’Vel Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New York.
“Leaving on Sunday, the waves and water swell will start to rise,” he said.
In the meantime, five people are missing in western North Carolina on Friday afternoon after a severe flood due to tropical storm Fred flooded the state earlier this week, compared to 20 people reported missing on Thursday. Governor Roy Cooper estimated the damage Thursday, where about 200 lifeguards occurred along the still-swollen Pigeon River.
And in the Gulf, Grace regained the strength of the hurricane on Friday before it was expected to crash into central Mexico because of another land in the country.
Henry is looking for reminders of Bob in Cape Cod; parts of New York in New England see hurricane warnings
Hurricane and storm warnings were issued Friday afternoon for parts of Long Island and southern New England, the National Hurricane Center said.
“Preparations for the protection of life and property should be rushed to completion,” the Hurricane Center said.
Tropical storm warnings and clocks have also been in place beyond where the storm is expected to fall ashore.
The combination of a storm surge, harmful winds and heavy rain could bring serious damage northeast of Henry.
The storm surge could reach 3 to 5 feet from Watch Hill, Rhode Island, to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. The wave along Long Island and on Rhode Island could reach 2 to 4 feet, while the Jersey Shore could see 1 to 3 feet of gusts, the National Hurricane Center said.
Henry’s winds may arrive as early as Saturday late Sunday. The winds were moving up to 70 km / h, while on Friday at 5 pm Eastern time, it was turning about 720 miles south of Montauk Point in New York.
Rains of 2 to 5 inches were expected in southern New England, with some isolated parts up to 10 inches, which probably caused flooding.
“Given these amounts, especially given that we are prepared for an extremely wet summer, floods will be a significant threat, as will floods in cities and small streams,” the Boston National Weather Service said in an online forecast.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urged people going to the Cape on Friday to leave long before Henry arrives, and those planning to start a vacation there to postpone their plans.
“We don’t want people to be stuck in traffic on Cape Cod bridges when Sunday’s storm is in full force,” he said.
When Bob flew ashore on August 19, 1991, much of Cape and the island of Massachusetts had been devastated for days.
“We shut down the whole system in response to Bob 30 years ago, but we wouldn’t have to do that today,” said William Hinkle, a spokesman for utility company Eversource.
Cape Cod is now more prepared than for Hurricane Bob.What if the storm is worse?
Massachusetts public boats were already ahead of the storm. “‘ When in doubt, get it out ’is my motto,” Barnstable Port Authority Captain Brian Taylor said. Like other captains of the port on the Cape and Islands, Taylor emailed those with skates and bindings to keep an eye on Henry and begin to take precautions.
At a U.S. Navy submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, staff secured submarine berths Friday, set up flood doors in front of doors on some buildings on the coast, and doubled queues on small ships, officials said.
Meanwhile, the New York National Weather Service office released its first hurricane clocks for part of its area in 10 years, when Hurricane Irene threatened in late August 2011. Sandy in 2012, although not officially a hurricane on land, also caused wide destruction area.
“Everyone along the Long Island and New York areas has to watch,” Johnson said.
Four dead, five still missing in North Carolina since Fred’s flood
Harmful floods caused by tropical storm Fred continued to create problems in western North Carolina near Asheville on Friday, where at least four people were killed and five are still listed as missing a few days after the storm broke out.
Cooper visited the hardest-hit areas of the state on Thursday. In some areas, the floods swept away houses like berths without boats and drowned residents caught in the waters rising in a flash.
“We know that search and rescue efforts don’t stop until we find out where people are or until we have been able to find someone,” Cooper said as rescue missions, with the help of the National Guard, continued.
About 10 to 15 bridges were damaged or destroyed, officials said, creating additional difficulties in reaching people.
Water levels have reached the point of a 100-year flood, an event that has a 1% chance of happening every year.
There was hope that the damaged water plants would return to the grid by the weekend, Cooper said.
He issued a state of emergency along with an executive order easing rules for emergency services and farmers who need to save existing crops.
Grace hits Mexico for the second time
Hurricane Grace crossed the coast of the Gulf of Mexico as a major Category 3 storm early Saturday, flooding small fishing towns and resorts as it reached another land in the country in two days.
The storm lost electricity as it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday, swirling through Mexico’s main tourist belt, but quickly drew power from the relatively warm Gulf of Mexico as it moved inland.
The Hurricane Center said Grace had maximum enduring winds of 125km / h on Saturday early Saturday, when it fell ashore about 30 miles southeast of Tuxpan. It was moving west at 10 km / h.
Forecasters said Grace would quickly lose strength as she spun inland over a mountain range carrying her heavy rains toward the heart of the country, including the Mexico City region. Forecasters said it could drop 6 to 12 inches of rain, with even more in several isolated areas – bringing the threat of floods, landslides and urban flooding.
Contributions: Doug Fraser and Cynthia McCormick, Cape Cod Times; Joel Burgess, Asheville Citizen Times; Associated Press