Au Revoir, Henri: Eastern Track Makes Storm a Non-Event for Wilton — But Rain will Linger

National Weather Service says storm is weakening but still expected to cause heavy rains and flooding across portions of southern New England through Monday

SUNDAY, Aug. 22, 2021 — 9 p.m.: Weather forecasters predicted Henri would be ‘the first hurricane to hit New England in 30 years,’ but the weather system came ashore as a tropical storm. It also tracked further east than originally forecast, making landfall at the Connecticut-Rhode Island border rather than closer to Wilton as officials warned.

“Our area fared well with only a few minor issues,” reported Police Chief John Lynch, Wilton’s emergency management director. Rain from Henri caused no flooding according to Lynch, and Eversource counted only 21 customers without power in Wilton at 8 p.m. Sunday evening.

By late Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service canceled all tropical storm warnings.

The storm did cause power outages and flooding upstate, however. Eversource said that as of 6 p.m. Sunday, crews had restored power to more than 32,000 customers since the start of the storm, while another 27,000 customers were still without power, mostly in the eastern part of the state.

“While the shift in Henri’s track spared Connecticut from the devastation it could have caused, the storm delivered the expected heavy rains, further saturating grounds that were already soaked from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred and other storms,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom in a statement sent to media.  “In addition to the thousands of line and tree crews we have working, we have an army of people behind the scenes supporting a safe restoration.”

The utility was particularly eager to restore its own tarnished reputation after Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) ruled both Eversource and United Illuminating failed in their responsibilities to the public in preparing for, and responding to Tropical Storm Isaias last August.

Several businesses and facilities in Wilton closed on Sunday in anticipation of the storm, but it appears that things will get back to normal pretty quickly on Monday, Aug. 23. The Wilton Family YMCA announced it will be open on a regular schedule on Monday (although still on a Summer Improvement Schedule).

Look Ahead — Lingering Rain and This Week’s Weather

As Henri moves west-northwest near 7 mph and on its forecast track, the National Weather Service said heavy rain will continue to fall in northern Connecticut or southern Massachusetts through Monday afternoon, bringing with it the main threat of producing flash flooding. The potential of rough seas, high surf, and dangerous rip currents continue at ocean beaches.

Widespread rainfall of 3-6 inches is forecast in the path of Henri with localized higher amounts possible. The highest amounts are forecast to occur across the lower Hudson Valley, western Connecticut, and northeast New Jersey.

Little to no additional impacts from winds or storm surges are expected on land. A high rip current risk continues into Monday at the ocean beaches.

Sunday Evening: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Southwest wind 9-18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. South wind 8-10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between 1-2 inches possible.

Monday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 9 p.m., then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 69. Southwest wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 86. West wind around 6 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 68. Light west wind.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 89.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70.

Thursday: A 30% chance of showers after 3 p.m. Sunny, with a high near 89.

Thursday Night: A 30% chance of showers before 3 a.m. Partly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 77.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.