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Henri makes landfall, weakens as it hits U.S. Northeast coast

Tropical Storm Henri made landfall along the coast of Rhode Island at about 12:15 p.m. (1615 GMT) on Sunday (August 22), the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 60 mph (95kph), the NHC said. Henri, originally predicted to be a hurricane lost steam as it neared the U.S. East coast, but officials warned residents to remain on high alert.

“This is not the time to go out and see the waves or explore downed trees. This is the time to stay home and stay safe,” Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee said in a news conference held before Henri made landfall in his state.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was particularly worried about flooding in areas of the state.

“We already have saturated ground, so the absorption capacity of the ground is limited. And that’s what makes this level of rainfall especially problematic,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

Henri’s rain bands stretched from eastern Pennsylvania to southern New Hampshire, covering northern New Jersey, the New York metropolitan area and southern New England.

While the NHC lifted storm surge alerts for western Long Island and parts of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, warnings were still in effect for most of Long Island and southern New England with predicted coastal surge ranging from 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 m) in many places.

The NHC’s tropical storm warning covered more than 42 million people.

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