Flood watch posted as Henri lingers in region

·3 min read

Aug. 23—Tropical Storm Henri largely spared southwestern New Hampshire as it skirted across southern New England Sunday, but local communities may still see pockets of heavy rain and possible flooding as the storm shifts directions and begins to move east.

While the Monadnock Region did see some rain from the outer bands of Henri on Sunday, a dispatcher at Southwestern N.H. District Fire Mutual Aid said Monday morning they had not received any storm-related calls. Though there were several calls for downed trees or wires, the dispatcher couldn't say for certain if those calls were related to the weather.

The National Weather Service out of Gray, Maine, issued a flood watch for Cheshire County Sunday morning as Henri prepared to make landfall. Sullivan and Merrimack counties, as well as central and western portions of Hillsborough County, were included in the flood watch, which continues through late Monday night.

Henri came ashore in Westerly, R.I. shortly after noon Sunday with top winds of 60 miles per hour. The storm — which has since been downgraded to a tropical depression — is expected to linger in the New England region before sweeping across southern Maine and heading for the Canadian Maritimes.

"The very humid remnants of Henri will bring periodic heavy rains to portions of New Hampshire through late tonight," the National Weather Service said in a statement issued Monday morning. "The repeated impacts of these showers will likely lead to localized flooding in the area."

The already-saturated region could see another 1 to 3 inches of rain from Henri.

On Friday, the Keene Public Works Department issued a notice urging residents to be prepared.

"Highway crews are assessing roadside drainage and storm drains around the City and removing any debris to prepare for the incoming weather," the department said in a news release. "Please remember that with the high volume of rain, there is a likelihood that the drainage system will not be able to keep up as local waterways are already swelled and water has nowhere to go."

The department asked people to be mindful of any potential flooding, reminding them not to drive through flooded roadways and to contact authorities to deal with any issues such as downed trees or washed-out roads.

Meanwhile, Vermont Emergency Management warned of the potential for flash flooding from heavy rain Sunday into Monday in central and southern areas of Vermont. On Sunday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott requested President Joe Biden grant a Pre-Landfall Emergency Declaration for the state, and Biden signed it Sunday night. The declaration allows the state to quickly receive federal assets and support to respond to the storm, should they be necessary. It appeared unlikely that federal assets would be needed, but the request was made out of an "abundance of caution" in case the storm overwhelmed state and local capacity to respond, state officials said.

The National Weather Service out of Albany, N.Y., said Monday morning the storm had already dumped 1 to 4 inches of rain in the areas of northwestern Connecticut, western Massachusetts, east-central New York and southern Vermont, and another 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible today. The flood-watch zone includes Windham County, Vt.

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