EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for areas south of Providence as Tropical Storm Henri makes its way up the coast.
The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane on Friday before turning north and heading toward the southeastern New England coast, where it will likely make landfall by Sunday.
The Pinpoint Weather Team anticipates the storm will bring with it heavy rain, damaging wind gusts, and flooding along the coast. It’s also expected to churn up some dangerously high surf and strong rip currents.
It’s still possible that Henri remains offshore, since the potential track ranges from as far west as Hartford, Conn., and well out to sea to the east.
While it’s not certain that Henri will cause major problems in Southern New England, residents are urged to prepare for whatever the storm may bring.
In a news conference Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that anyone heading to Cape Cod or the islands should delay their trip until at least Monday. He also said he is activating 1,000 members of the National Guard to assist with high water rescue, debris clearing, and public safety support if necessary.
With the potential for a storm surge and gusty winds likely, boaters are urged to secure their vessels to a mooring or take them out of the water altogether well ahead of the projected landfall.
Bristol Harbor Master Gregg Marsili said the worst thing boat owners can do is wait until the last minute to secure or remove their vessels.
“The boat ramps and boat haulers will be busy as the storm gets closer,” he explained. “So I always like to err on the side of caution.”
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency also suggests preparing a disaster supply kit ahead of time and reviewing potential evacuation routes just in case.
Power outages are possible, especially during the height of the storm and closer to the coast, where the strongest wind gusts are expected.
Stay with 12 News for in-depth coverage before, during and after the storm, both on-air and online.