Federal disaster declaration announced prior to Henri landfall

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ALBANY – President Joe Biden approved a pre-landfall disaster declaration for 26 counties that will be impacted by Tropical Storm Henri as the storm churned 35 miles southeast of Montauk Point and is poised to make landfall by noon. 

 The counties receiving the declaration are: Albany, Bronx, Broome, Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. This declaration follows the Governor’s issuance of a state disaster emergency yesterday.

 Governor Cuomo also directed state agencies to deploy additional emergency assets as heavy rain, wind gusts and storm surge impact Downstate areas.  Parts of New York City and Long Island have already seen up to six inches of rain in some locations and sustained winds of 70 mph continue to batter the coast. Several locations inland and along the coast are likely to be impacted with dangerous storm surge, long duration heavy rainfall and high winds far beyond the “eye” of the storm.

 “Tropical Storm Henri is already causing issues on Long Island and New York City with heavy rain, flooding, and downed trees,” Cuomo said. “I applaud and thank President Biden for his decision to issue a pre-landfall disaster declaration for New York, and I am directing our state agencies to deploy additional emergency response assets to areas likely to be impacted by this storm. As always, we will do everything we can to help our local partners with any and all response and recovery operations.  This storm is unpredictable and, although it appears to be moving further east, the threats of storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, high winds and power outages remain very real. Now is the time to be smart – pay close attention to weather reports, and, for the safety of yourself, your family, and responders, avoid any unnecessary travel.”

 Henri is expected to make landfall late this morning or early this afternoon on or near eastern Long Island.  After landfall, a turn to the north and a slower speed are expected as Henri moves over southern New England with sustained 70 mph winds.

 The combination of dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  Water could reach 3 to 5 feet above ground in several areas of Long Island if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.  The storm is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain over Long Island, New York City, and southeast New York today into Monday, with isolated totals near 10 inches.  This will likely result in flash, urban, and small stream flooding, and the potential for minor to moderate river flooding.  Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

 Several watches and warnings have already been issued by the National Weather Service.  New Yorkers can view the complete listing of these notices, as well as access the latest forecasts, by visiting the National Hurricane Center or National Weather Service Public Alerts.

 On Saturday, Governor Cuomo activated 500 National Guard troops for deployment to Long Island and the Hudson Valley region to help localities with storm response efforts, and they remain on standby ready to assist where needed.