Updated: All Warnings Discontinued as Henri Disbands and Heads North

Pictured Above: An osprey at the New Suffolk Waterfront weathered Henri’s wind and rain Sunday morning.

Updated 5:30 p.m., Aug. 22:

Much of the rain in Suffolk County from Tropical Storm Henri was in the western part of the county, with Bellmore reporting the most rain at 3.18 inches at 1:21 p.m. The Montauk Airport reported 1.71 inches of rain as of 12:54 p.m., Shinnecock Hills reported 1.52 inches of rain at 1:42 p.m., Cutchogue reported 1.38 inches of rain at 1:45 p.m. and Orient reported 1.33 inches as of 1:47 p.m.

The highest winds reported on the East End were at Great Gull Island — just east of Plum Island, with 69 miles per hour at a weather station there at 12:01 p.m. 45-mile-per-hour winds were reported at Montauk Airport at 11:24 a.m., 41-mile per hour winds were reported by an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) in Southold at 11:25 a.m. and 35-mile-per-hour winds were reported by an AWOS in East Hampton at 9:35 a.m.

As of 5:30 p.m., PSEG-Long Island reported there were 536 Suffolk County electric ratepayers without power.

As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. briefing, all coastal Tropical Storm Warnings had been discontinued. Henri was moving north-northwest at seven miles per hour across central Connecticut, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

This will be our final briefing on this storm. Stay safe out there!

Update 2:50 p.m., Aug. 22:

Tropical Storm Henri had significantly weakened as of the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. advisory, with 50-mile-per-hour winds as it headed northwest at 9 miles-per-hour after making landfall in Westerly, R.I. All storm surge warnings were discontinued as of the 2 p.m. briefing, with storm surge on the East End now expected to be just 1 to 2 feet. Rainfall associated with the storm is expected to continue on Long Island through Monday morning. Ocean swells are expected to increase across much of the East Coast and continue until Monday.

PSEG-Long Island was reporting as of 2:50 p.m. that just 808 of its 646,022 customers were without power.

On the Mattituck Inlet just after 8 a.m. Sunday.

Updated 12:20 p.m., Aug. 22:

At the New Suffolk boat ramp at high tide at 12:12 p.m. Aug. 22.

High tide in New Suffolk (above) proved a non-event, with the water not cresting the edge of the boat ramp on First Street.

Henri has just made landfall on the Connecticut/Rhode Island border in Westerly, R.I.

Updated noon, Aug. 22:

PSEG-Long Island is reporting just 1,313 power outages throughout Suffolk County, out of a total of 646,022 total customers — less than one percent of their customers in Suffolk are affected.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said at an 11:30 a.m. press briefing “we are in what is now the peak of the storm…. We are very cognizant of the fact that this time last year, about a year ago, a tropical storm, Isaias, that did not hit us, knocked out 650,000 homes and businesses of electrical power… We are continuing to remain vigilant.”

“We know that there has been good news with this storm, and it really is a reminder of how difficult it is to project trajectories. Just a few days ago this was not on our radar as a storm of significance, and then took a hard turn to the west and yesterday appeared it would be the first time in three decades that Long Island was in the path of a hurricane,” he added. “You prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The other good news that happened late last night was the storm was tracking further east.”

At Southold Town’s emergency shelter on Peconic Lane Sunday morning.

Mr. Bellone cautioned that the East End could still see storm surge and winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour, with rainfall continuing throughout the night into Monday and said that urban search and rescue teams were ready to deploy to the North and South Forks “if necessary.” He said about 20 families had sought shelter in American Red Cross shelters, including one at East Hampton High School and at Riverhead High School. Southold Town has also opened shelters at the Southold Community Center on Peconic Lane in Peconic and the Oysterponds School on Route 25 in Orient. 

Updated 11:10 a.m., Aug. 22:

The center of Tropical Storm Henri was passing close to Block Island as of the 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center briefing, with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. The storm was about 15 miles east of Montauk Point. Storm surge potential for the East End had been downgraded to 2 to 4 feet. It had previously been predicted to be 3 to 5 feet. Rainfall totals are still slated to be 3 to 6 inches, with isolated maximum totals now near 12 inches.

Updated 8:30 a.m., Aug. 22:

Henri was downgraded to a tropical storm as of the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. briefing, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. The center of the storm was 40 miles south-southeast of Montauk and 75 miles south of Providence, R.I. and moving north-northwest at 16 miles per hour. The Hurricane Warning for Long Island, the southern coast of New England and Block Island was downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning.

Storm surge predictions remained at 3 to 5 feet, and rainfall predictions remained at 3 to 6 feet, with locally isolated areas potentially receiving as much as 10 inches of rain. Heavy rain and the potential for uprooted trees are currently a major threat from this storm.

Updated 5:10 a.m., Aug. 22:

The outer bands of Henri were moving onshore on the East End as of the National Weather Service’s 5 a.m. briefing, with the center of the storm 80 miles south-southeast of Montauk. Maximum sustained winds were at 75 miles per hour and the storm was moving north at 18 miles per hour, but was expected to begin moving forward more slowly in the hours ahead.

“On the forecast track, Henri is expected to make landfall in southern New England or on Long Island late this morning or early this afternoon,” according to the briefing. Rapid weakening is expected as the storm makes landfall.

The probability of hurricane-force wind speeds at landfall was just five percent on most of the East End as of a 2 a.m. National Hurricane Center hurricane force wind probability briefing, with a 10 percent probability of hurricane force winds for the far east end of the South Fork (Montauk, Napeague & Amagansett)

Storm surge predictions remained at 3 to 5 feet, and rainfall predictions remained at 3 to 6 feet, with locally isolated areas potentially receiving as much as 10 inches of rain. Heavy rain and the potential for uprooted trees are currently a major threat from this storm.

The next public advisory is at 8 a.m.

Updated 1:10 a.m., Aug. 22:

Hurricane Henri was moving northward toward southern New England and Long Island as of the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. public briefing on Aug. 21, putting the center of the storm slightly eastward of previous forecasts.

As of the 11 p.m. briefing the storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and was moving north at 21 miles per hour. It was 180 miles south-southeast of Montauk and 220 miles south of Providence, RI.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. Aug. 21 forecast discussion, “Henri has moved a little to the right of the previous track at 18 to 20 knots during the past several hours. However, the cyclone now seems to be moving northward with an initial motion of 18 knots. There is no change to the forecast track philosophy. A cut-off low located over the central Appalachians and a ridge building to the east and northeast of Henri should cause the storm to move generally northward tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest and a slower forward speed are expected on Sunday, which should bring the center near or over southern New England or Long Island between 18 and 24 hours.”

“The convection pattern associated with Henri is less ragged than it was six hours ago, as the convection has increased near the center and a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported a 25 nautical mile wide eye has formed,” they added.

Rainfall is still expected to be a major concern with this storm, as ground already saturated by a wet summer could lead to the uprooting of trees and downing of power lines — Long Island is still in the path of much of the heavy rain on the northeast side of the storm.

As of the 11:49 p.m. high tide at Beacon headquarters in New Suffolk, storm waters were several feet from cresting the boat ramp or the bulkheads at the New Suffolk Waterfront. Below are tomorrow’s high tides, which are expected to be exacerbated by the full moon:

Aug. 22
Plum Gut Harbor: 10:13 a.m., 10:37 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 9:21 a.m., 9:45 p.m.
Greenport: 10:50 a.m., 11:14 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 11:56 a.m.
Sag Harbor: 10:45 a.m., 11:09 p.m.
New Suffolk: 12:12 p.m.
South Jamesport: 12:19 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 9:37 a.m., 9:55 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 7:46 a.m., 8:04 p.m.

We met hurricane researchers Mark Sudduth and Marcel Ligabo from hurricanetrack.com in the parking lot of the New Suffolk beach as we were looking at the conditions for Saturday’s late night high tide. They were installing one of four cameras, which Mr. Sudduth described as “wildlife cameras for hurricanes,” overlooking the beach, and were then headed on to Iron Pier Beach on the Long Island Sound in Jamesport. The feeds from the cameras can be seen by supporters of their crowdfunding effort. They said they were likely headed to Rhode Island in the morning, in anticipation that the storm would now track directly over Rhode Island instead of Eastern Long Island.

The White House declared a federal state of emergency for the state of Rhode Island late Saturday.


Taking boats out of the water at Port of Egypt in Southold
Taking boats out of the water at Port of Egypt in Southold Saturday evening.
Taking a tent down from the dock at Waypoint restaurant in Southold Saturday evening.

Update: 8:17 p.m., Aug. 21

Hurricane Henri was 255 miles south of Montauk Point and moving at 18 miles-per-hour to the north-northeast as of the National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. briefing, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

According to the briefing “a decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the north-northwest is expected on Sunday. On this forecast track, Henri is expected to make landfall in southern New England on Sunday.”

“Although some weakening is expected prior to landfall on Sunday, Henri is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the coasts of Long Island and southern New England,” according to the briefing.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extend out 150 miles.

The storm surge prediction for the East End remains at 3 to 5 feet, and the rainfall prediction of 3 to 6 inches remains.

A Red Cross Shelter opened at East Hampton High School at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, after East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc declared a state of emergency in the town as of 1:30 p.m. Saturday. East Hampton Town urged residents in low-lying areas designated as Storm Surge Zone 1 to seek higher ground.

The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. Aug. 21 advisory on storm surge inundation for the region.
Legends restaurant in New Suffolk was packed with dinner guests Saturday evening, while the restaurant prepared to batten down the hatches ahead of Sunday’s storm.

Pictured Above: Boaters waited to haul their boats out of the water at the New Suffolk boat ramp Saturday morning.

Update 3 p.m. Aug. 21

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency due to the “dangerous storm surge, as well as heavy rainfall, dangerous surf conditions and widespread power outages” expected to be caused by Hurricane Henri.

Mr. Cuomo is also requesting President Biden declare a pre-landfall emergency declaration, and has activated 500 National Guard troops for deployment to Long Island and the Hudson Valley, along with 11 high axle trucks and 14 military Humvees to help with the storm response efforts.

Update 12:15 p.m. Aug. 21:

Henri is now a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour as of the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory.

The storm was 465 miles south of Montauk Point moving north-northeast at 14 miles per hour, with a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars. Hurricane-force winds extended 60 miles out from the center of the storm, while tropical storm-force winds extended 125 miles out.

Henri is expected to make landfall on Eastern Long Island Sunday morning, with tropical storm-force winds expecting to begin here around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Motorists and mariners were heeding the warnings throughout the East End Saturday morning, lining up for gas and to haul their boats out of the water throughout the region.

The line for gas Saturday morning at the BP station on the Main Road in Mattituck

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone gave a press briefing on the upcoming storm Saturday morning:

Update 6:10 a.m. Aug. 21:

Henri remained a tropical storm with 70 mile-per-hour winds as of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. public advisory on the storm Saturday, Aug. 21 as the agency warned that Henri is “expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it moves north-northeastward today.”

“A dangerous storm surge, hurricane conditions and flooding rainfall is expected in portions of the northeast United States beginning late tonight or early Sunday.”

The storm was located 555 miles south of Montauk Point and 195 miles southeast of Cape Hattteras, North Carolina at 5 a.m., moving north-northeast at 12 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 996 millibars.

The storm surge and rainfall forecasts remain at 3 to 5 feet of storm surge and 4 to 6 inches of rain for the East End, with the addition of a note of “isolated maximum totals” of rainfall near 10 inches, which “may result in considerable flash, urban and small stream flooding and the potential for widespread minor and isolated moderate river flooding.”

This advisory also notes that “a tornado or two may occur Sunday over southern New England.”

Update 11:05 p.m. Aug. 20:

Henri remained a tropical storm as of the 11 p.m. Friday public advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was 615 miles south of Montauk as of that advisory, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, moving northward at 9 miles per hour, with a minimum central pressure of 995 millibars. The storm is expected to begin tracking toward the northeast on Saturday, putting its center squarely over the East End of Long Island late Saturday night into Sunday.

According to the briefing, “Henri is expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it makes landfall in Long Island or southern New England.”

Tropical storm-force winds currently extend up to 115 miles out from the center of the storm.

The 11 p.m. advisory also upped the potential storm surge on the East End to 3 to 5 feet of coastal inundation, up from 2 to 4 feet forecast earlier Friday. This advisory also upped the rainfall potential to 3 to 6 inches, up from 2 to 4 inches previously forecast.

Original Story 5:05 p.m. Aug. 20:

The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning and a Storm Surge warning for the East End as of its 5 p.m. public advisory on Friday, Aug. 20 due to the approaching Tropical Storm Henri, which is expected to become a hurricane late this evening and arrive on the East End Saturday night into Sunday.

The Storm Surge warning is in effect from Mastic Beach on the South Shore, and Oyster Bay on the North Shore, to Montauk Point, including the Peconic Bays, Block Island and from Greenwich, Conn. to Chatham, Mass. The Hurricane Warning is in effect from Fire Island Inlet and Port Jefferson Harbor to Montauk Point, and from New Haven, Conn. to west of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

The National Weather Service is stressing repeatedly in its briefings that the storm surge is “a life-threatening situation.”

The National Weather Service predicts we will see wind, storm surge and rainfall impacts as the storm makes landfall here Saturday night into Sunday night.

“The main threats from Henri are potentially life-threatening storm surge, heavy rain capable of producing flash flooding, tropical storm or hurricane force winds along the South Shore and East End of Long Island, and across southeast Connecticut,” according to the National Weather Service‘s 11:44 a.m. briefing Friday. “There will also be associated marine and coastal hazards, including very rough seas and dangerous rip currents.”

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the storm about 695 miles south of Montauk, with 70-mile-per- hour winds, moving north-northwest at 7 miles per hour. The storm’s track is expected to veer north further northward this evening and pick up speed as it strengthens.

The Coast Guard is urging owners of pleasure craft to seek safe harbor.

PSEG-Long Island warned Friday afternoon that “we anticipate the most severe impact from this storm will be on the East End, and some outages may last up to 7 to 10 days.”

“We’ll be ready to respond with our own highly trained personnel and more than 1,200 additional utility personnel from both on- and off-Island,” they added. “If you see repair crews, please remain indoors. If you must speak with them, please wear a mask and practice physical distancing.” Power outages and downed power lines can be reported online here.

East Hampton Town urged residents Friday morning to prepare for the storm.

“Residents are advised to be on the alert for emergency weather advisories this weekend, and be ready to make safety preparations in advance of a possible hurricane,” according to a statement from the town. “East Hampton Town’s emergency preparedness team is closely monitoring forecasts and coordinating with county emergency services in advance of the storm.”

“Now is the time to check generators, gas supply, secure all outdoor furniture or objects and check on neighbors who may need assistance with storm preparation,” urged Southold Town officials at 3 p.m. Friday. “Check the Southold Town website and local government channel 22 for storm updates.”

The storm is slated to hit the East End in conjunction with the full moon, which normally brings higher-than-usual tides, and the storm surge is predicted to be a major factor in this storm, with 2 to 4 feet of inundation expected in low-lying areas on the East End. Here’s the latest local NWS briefing on the storm. We will update our website regularly with details on the storm. Below are the times of high tide here for the next three days:

Aug. 20
Plum Gut Harbor: 8:36 a.m., 9:02 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 7:44 a.m., 8:10 p.m.
Greenport: 9:13 a.m., 9:39 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 10:15 a.m., 10:36 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 9:08 a.m., 9:34 p.m.
New Suffolk: 10:35 a.m., 11:01 p.m.
South Jamesport: 10:42 a.m., 11:08 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 7:54 a.m., 8:18 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 6:03 a.m., 6:27 p.m.

Aug. 21
Plum Gut Harbor: 9:25 a.m., 9:50 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 8:33 a.m., 8:58 p.m.
Greenport: 10:02 a.m., 10:27 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 11:08 a.m., 11:27 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 9:57 a.m., 10:22 p.m.
New Suffolk: 11:24 a.m., 11:49 p.m.
South Jamesport: 11:31 a.m., 11:56 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 8:48 a.m., 9:08 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 6:57 a.m., 7:17 p.m.

Aug. 22
Plum Gut Harbor: 10:13 a.m., 10:37 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 9:21 a.m., 9:45 p.m.
Greenport: 10:50 a.m., 11:14 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 11:56 a.m.
Sag Harbor: 10:45 a.m., 11:09 p.m.
New Suffolk: 12:12 p.m.
South Jamesport: 12:19 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 9:37 a.m., 9:55 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 7:46 a.m., 8:04 p.m.

Widespread heavy rainfall is also expected over eastern Long Island Saturday night into Sunday morning, with 2 to 4 inches of rainfall expected, and flash flooding possible.

Stay tuned to updates to this post for ongoing updates as the storm approaches.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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