August 23, 2021 11:33:14 pm
Storm Henri, downgraded to a tropical depression, threatened to trigger flash floods in the U.S. Northeast on Monday after drenching the region over the weekend.
Predicted to be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the northeast in decades, Henri weakened faster than expected and seemed to spare the northeast from severe wind damage when it made landfall as a tropical storm at around 12:15 p.m. near Westerly, Rhode Island on Sunday.
Moving at a six mile-per-hour (nine kph) crawl across southern New England on Monday morning, Henri was forecast to drop an additional one to three inches of rain over parts of Long Island, New England, southeast New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm dropped more than eight inches of rain on parts of central New Jersey and Brooklyn between Saturday and Sunday night, according to data collected by the Maryland-based Weather Prediction Center, causing dangerous flooding and spurring evacuations in New Jersey.
In Helmetta, New Jersey, the Department of Public Works was starting to clear the roadways on Monday after floodwaters engulfed entire residential blocks over the weekend, according to the town office of emergency management’s Facebook page.
More than 125 residents had been forced to evacuate over the weekend, Helmetta Borough Administrator Matt Crane said in a telephone interview. Those residents were still under mandatory evacuation orders on Monday as rescue workers assessed the structural integrity of their homes, the town office of emergency management said on Facebook.
The mayor of Helmetta posted images to Facebook showing the streets of a residential neighborhood submerged in brown water up to the front porches of houses, and first responders traveling down the streets in boats and wading in thigh-deep water.
“Our goal is to rectify the situation as promptly and safely as possible with an emphasis on getting our displaced families back to their homes,” Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek wrote on Facebook on Monday.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was due to visit Monroe Township in central New Jersey on Monday, NJ.com reported. Monroe Township’s emergency management office opened a shelter over the weekend for residents whose homes were flooded or who were without power.