Tornadoes hit Massachusetts as Storm Henri continues to deluge northeast US

No deaths or injuries reported from tropical storm, weather service says

The remnants of Tropical Storm Henri stalled over New England in the United States on Monday, dropping yet more rain and spawning three tornadoes in central Massachusetts that caused some damage but no deaths or injuries, according to the National Weather Service.

All three tornadoes – the first in Marlborough at 11.40am, the second in Bolton at 12.30pm and the last in Stow at 1.10pm – were EF-0 strength, the lowest intensity for a tornado, with peak winds at about 105km/h, the National Weather Service in Boston said.

Henri was downgraded to a slow-moving post-tropical cyclone on Monday evening, a day after it had knocked out power to thousands and caused flooding from New York City to Rhode Island and beyond.

The storm system was located about 97km north-northeast of New York City at 5pm on Monday, and more flooding was possible in parts of southern New England and the northern mid-Atlantic. It was moving east at 14km/h with maximum sustained winds of 40km/h, but "it's going to move faster later tonight," said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center. He said the greatest effect from the system would be more heavy rain.


Record rainfall

About 5-9 inches of rain had already fallen across northern New Jersey and in the New York metro area. Central Park set a record Saturday for the most rain in a single hour, when 1.94 inches fell between 10 and 11pm.

The storm brought as much as 8.19 inches of rain total to Central Park, making this the second-wettest summer on record there, with nearly 2ft of rain since June 1st, according to the National Weather Service. The latest rainfall totals also included up to 9.85 inches of rain in Brooklyn and about 8.02 inches in Harrison, New Jersey.

Henri was expected to drop an additional 1-3 inches of rain on Monday night, with higher amounts possible in some areas, over portions of Long Island, New England, southeast New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

The rain could lead to flash, urban and small stream flooding, Mr Feltgen said. Flood watches were in effect for parts of southeast New York and southern New England. “Motorists should not attempt to drive around barricades or drive through flooded areas,” Mr Feltgen said, noting that most flood deaths take place in vehicles. “Turn around, don’t drown,” he added.

Before it weakened, Henri was a tropical storm that slammed the northeast on Sunday. The system wiped out power in most of coastal Rhode Island, forced evacuations in Connecticut, stranded dozens of motorists in New Jersey and shattered rainfall records in New York City.

The system, which made landfall in Rhode Island, spared the region the brunt of what was predicted. During its peak on Sunday afternoon, the storm left more than 140,000 households without power from New Jersey to Maine. – New York Times