UNITED STATES: Although tropical Storm Henri, which is expected to hit New York’s Long Island and southern parts of New England on Sunday, has weakened from a hurricane, officials say the threats to the region remain high.
A state of emergency has been declared in parts of New York, urging residents on the U.S. East Coast to prepare for one of the most powerful storms in years.
About six million people living near the coast in parts of Long Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts had been signalled hurricane warnings before the storm subdued.
Massachusetts has closed its parks and beaches until Monday, the office of Governor Charlie Baker said.
More than 36 million people in large parts of southern New England, as well as New Jersey, had received tropical storm warnings.
On Saturday – when the storm was on the verge of elevating to a hurricane – Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell told CNN that “even if it doesn’t make landfall as a hurricane, the tropical force winds and the storm surge can cause significant damage”.
“We’re going to see power outages, we’re going to see downed trees, and even after the storm has passed, the threat of falling trees and limbs is still out there,” she added.
On Saturday night, the onset of Hurricane Henri interrupted a star-studded concert in New York City.
Crooner Barry Manilow was in the middle of his performance at the “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Grand Central Park when fans were abruptly told to evacuate after lightning was seen nearby.
About 60,000 people were thought to be attending the “homecoming” concert – a celebration to mark the city’s return to hosting large events post the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Thunder, lightning and the threat of tropical Henri has also caused postponements of sporting events in the East Coast area, originally scheduled for Sunday.
The Twins-Yankees game, Boston Red Sox game and the Northern Trust finale have been rescheduled to Monday.