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Hurricane Henri strengthens: which states and counties are evacuating?

As Tropical storm Henri gains strength across the Northeast, several states and towns issue evacuation mandates to protect people from possible harm.

A road sign flashes a hurricane warning on Southern State Parkway on the eve of landfall by Hurricane Henri on August 21, 2021 in Valley Stream, New York.
Michael M. SantiagoAFP

Taking a look at the wider picture, Hurricane Henri is meant to have tougher impacts on the Northeastern side of the states, specifically in the states of Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. All three states were declared state of emergency ahead of the storm by their respective governors, with some local emergencies called up in some high risk areas such as Long Island and New York city.

Storm flooding threatens from New York - including Long island’s north and south shore- all the way to Chatham, Massachusetts, according to the National Hurricane Center. A 3 to 6 inch rainfall is expected Sunday through Monday.

Regarding to landfall, Long Island and New England come favorites to suffer the consequences of the tropical hurricane. Both areas haven’t experiences devastating direct hits in years. In New England, last hurricane to do so was Hurricane Bob 30 years ago, while Long Island’s Hurricane Gloria took place in 1985. However, a couple of storms have impacted the area since then, including Isaias.

Red flags for Connecticut

People that live besides Madison waters have been obliged to evacuate the area before 9 p.m. Saturday. 

"Residents who do not leave the evacuation zone by 9 p.m. tonight are putting their lives at risk and public safety crews will not be able to respond to you once winds exceed 50 mph," First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons said in a public release yesterday.

In the same way, Branford's residents, are forced to evacuate the area before 7 a.m. Sunday, while in the coastal community of Guilford evacuation order is set at 6 a.m. today.

"The Town of Guilford Emergency Management Team is issuing a mandatory evacuation for residents living in coastal and/or low-lying areas, as well as other areas prone to historic flooding due to storm surges," the city posted on Facebook at about 6 p.m. "This order is being issued because the town cannot assure that emergency personnel will be able to reach you should you require their assistance."

Despite East New Haven, just 12 miles away from Guilford, didn't issue a mandatory evacuation, they highly recommended residents in some flood-prone areas to move to a safer location.

Multiple shelters were open.

Six beds were ready to receive guest at the Hurricane shelter at East Lyme Middle School in East Lyme, New London, Connecticut on August 21, 2021.
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Six beds were ready to receive guest at the Hurricane shelter at East Lyme Middle School in East Lyme, New London, Connecticut on August 21, 2021.JOSEPH PREZIOSOAFP

New York state prepares to overcome the storm

The state of New York is still trying to recover from it's last strong storm Sandy in 2012. Whilst most of the important reparations have been finished, projects to decrease state harm in future cyclones are still a pending task. 

With a top wind speed of 75 mph Saturday, Henri strongly menaces to shatter Long Island Sunday morning.

Fire Island urged to evacuate

All Fire Island residents, a strip of houses in the Southern coast of Long Island, have been enhanced to evacuate the area before 10 p.m. Saturday as Hurricane Henri rushes towards the area.

"There may be no way out for people who decide to ride out the storm," officials said.

The Hamptons

Southampton is shown in the storm models as one of the towns to be struck by Henri's center. Therefore, the town is considering to implement a voluntary evacuation notice for 6,000 people according to the town's Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

"We have a lot of wealthy people. There's no doubt that we do, but everybody pulls together in an emergency," Schneiderman said. "So, you know, yeah, there are people hanging out on their yachts at the moment drinking martinis, but they're also starting to talk about this storm and I'm sure they're going to want to be helpful."

Conversely, East Hampton issued a voluntary evacuation notice Saturday, aimed at people who live in low-lying areas.

Since the first evacuation alert was released Saturday evening, multiple high schools in the area have turned into shelters, including: East Hampton, Hampton Bays, Sachem East and Riverhead.

Manhattan’s Central Park on Henri’s target

Saturday night's Central Park concert to celebrate COVID recovery, which included Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simons and Jennifer Hudson in it's headline was also halted by the weather forecast. Attendants where asked by authorities to abandon the concert as lightening menaced their safety.

The 'We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert' in Central Park is interrupted due to rain storms that are part of hurricane Henri in New York, New York, USA, 21 August 2021.
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The 'We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert' in Central Park is interrupted due to rain storms that are part of hurricane Henri in New York, New York, USA, 21 August 2021.DAVID DELGADOEFE

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who resigned earlier this week due to sexual harassment accusations, warned New Yorkers that Hurricane Henri could be as devastating in some parts of the state as Sandy was in 2012.

"We have short notice. We're talking about tomorrow," Cuomo said. "So if you have to move, if you have to stock up, if you have to get to higher ground, it has to be today. Please."

Rhode Island

President Joe Biden later began approving emergency declarations with Rhode Island, calling up voluntary evacuation in some parts of Westerly at 9 a.m. Sunday.

“Get your family prepared, check in on grandparents and older adults, make sure they have everything they need today," Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said Saturday. "We have time to prepare and we need to use it wisely.”