Storm Henri transformed into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday and was heading towards the northeastern United States, an area usually relatively untouched by hurricanes, US weather services said.
With winds now up to 120 km / h, Henri is due to reach the American coast on Sunday at Long Island, near New York, or a little further north in New England, according to the American Hurricane Monitoring Center (NHC ), which however expects “a weakening before its arrival”.
The deterioration of the weather conditions pushed to the stop of the big concert organized in Central Park to mark the “reunion” of the artists with the public of New York. Vocalist Barry Manilow was interrupted in the middle of a song by a voice asking spectators to evacuate the premises quickly, but calmly.
“Henri moves faster. Dangerous rise in coastal waters, hurricane conditions, and precipitation leading to flooding are expected in parts of the northeastern United States from late tonight or early Sunday, ”the NHC also warned.
LIVE Radar: Hurricane Henri Approaches New York, Connecticut
Part of the northeastern United States, including New York, was placed on alert Friday for the approach of Henri, which could become the first hurricane in 30 years to hit the New England coast.
“The last hurricane to make landfall in New England dates back to Bob in 1991,” said a spokesperson for the US agency for the study of the ocean and the atmosphere. This hurricane killed at least 17 people across the East Coast.
Faced with the threat, several governors called on the population to be cautious.
“Hurricane Henri could be the first hurricane to hit Long Island directly since the 1980s. To New Yorkers: Take this seriously. Prepare TODAY for the arrival of the storm forecast for Sunday. Watch your local forecast, and stay safe, ”New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet on Saturday, who expects conditions to last“ 26 hours.
“I declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Henri”, also announced the elected, specifying that 500 soldiers of the National Guard had been mobilized to come in support of the efforts of response to the storm.
“Be prepared for heavy rains, strong winds, and power cuts,” Andrew Cuomo also told residents of potentially affected areas in New York State.
The cultural and economic capital of the country still has in mind the painful memory of Hurricane Sandy, which killed 44 people in the city in 2012.
In Massachusetts, the city of Boston, Governor Charlie Baker called on “everyone to avoid unnecessary travel,” especially in coastal areas.
In this state, where all beaches and parks will be closed between Saturday and Monday, the hurricane could cause power cuts affecting 100,000 to 300,000 residents, said the governor’s services.