Massachusetts Governor advised people vacationing on the Cape to leave

Weather News

FILE – In this Aug. 20, 1991, file photo, boat owners gather their belongings along the shore in Dartmouth, Mass., after Hurricane Bob swept through southern Massachusetts. New Englanders, bracing for their first direct hit by a hurricane in 30 years, are taking precautions as Tropical Storm Henri barrels toward the southern New England coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – With Tropical Storm Henri barreling towards Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that vacationers should consider leaving Cape Cod for the worst of the storm and that those about to start their Cape Cod vacations delay their arrival until at least Monday.

Baker said Friday that he is activating up to 1,000 members of the National Guard to assist with high water rescue, debris clearing and public safety support if necessary. Camp Edwards, on the Cape is being prepared to host thousands of utility workers who could be called upon to restore power once the storm passes.

“We’re strongly recommending that all travelers delay any trips to the Cape and the islands, possibly until Monday when the storm moves out. Additionally, those currently visiting the Cape and islands this week should consider leaving the Cape on Saturday, or find a way to make plans to stay until Monday or Tuesday,” Baker said during a storm prep press conference Friday at the State House. “The simple point here is we really would like everybody to be off the road at the height of the storm, which will probably last all day Sunday and through until the early part of Monday. We don’t want people to be stuck in the traffic on the Cape Cod bridges when the storm is in full force on Sunday.”

Meteorologists said Henri was moving northwest at about 7 miles per hour late Friday morning. The storm is expected to make a turn towards the north by Friday night and being accelerating towards southern New England through Sunday. “On the forecast track, Henri is expected to make landfall in southern New England by late Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts,” the National Hurricane Center wrote in its latest advisory. “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.”

As of 11 a.m., the National Weather Service had issued a storm surge watch — meaning that there is “there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline” — for the South Coast, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Much of the same area is also under a hurricane watch. The storm will present multiple hazards to large parts of Massachusetts, including storm surge, winds as high as 73 mph, rainfall and high surf. The combination of a storm surge and the tides is expected to cause “normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the NWS said.

The forecasters there said that if the surge corresponds to high tide, areas along Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay could see waters rise between 3 and 5 feet. Forecasters at the NWS are projecting 2 to 5 inches of rain across southern New England from the storm, though they note that some isolated areas could see as much as 8 inches of rainfall through Monday. “Heavy rainfall from Henri will result in flash, urban, and small stream flooding, along with the potential for widespread minor and isolated moderate river flooding,” the Weather Service said.

The hurricane bearing down on the Bay State will follow another tropical system that on Thursday spun out a tornado that touched down in Clinton.

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