New Hampshire and Maine officials are urging residents to remain vigilant as Tropical Storm Henri could become the first hurricane-strength storm to directly hit New Hampshire since Hurricane Bob 30 years ago.
“State officials are working around the clock to monitor the impacts of this impending storm,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said in a news release. “The state is putting every resource forward in our efforts to respond to Henri. Our top priority is keeping folks safe, so it is important that everyone heed the messaging from Emergency Management Officials that will come through the weekend.”
According to the National Weather Service, Henri is forecast to reach hurricane strength on Saturday. It could hit New England as a category one strength hurricane.
“Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Henri is expected to become a hurricane by Saturday and be at or near hurricane strength when it makes landfall in southern New England,” the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in an advisory.
Previous hurricanes and major storms in the region have caused billions of dollars in damages. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Sandy, also called Superstorm Sandy, in 2012 caused an estimated $65 billion in damages and resulted in 159 deaths.
According to The Associated Press, Hurricane Bob killed 17 people and caused $1.5 billion in property damage, equating to roughly $3 billion in today’s dollars.
“We are working together with all our partners to plan for this event,” Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers said in a news release. “We are concerned about damaging winds, power outages, and the potential for coastal flooding.”
Officials encourage residents to stay off the water, follow the latest developments about the storm, secure their belongings and have a plan, including having an evacuation route and enough emergency supplies.
“Part of being prepared is knowing your evacuation zone,” the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) said in a Facebook post. “We want Maine residents and visitors to be aware if you are in an evacuation zone and the nearby evacuation routes in the unlikely case of storm surge emergency evacuation orders.”
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Original Author: Todd DeFeo, The Center Square contributor