Portsmouth, RI Public Information Release Hurricane Henri
8/21/2021 - 4:00 PM
The National Weather Service has stated that Narraganset Bay is one of the most vulnerable storm surge areas in New England from Hurricane Henri. With the storm tracking to our west, we may not experience Hurricane Winds, but we are located on the most dangerous side of the storm where the greatest storm surge is likely. The shape of our bay can cause water to pile up in areas such as Island Park and Common Fence Point. Dangerous, life threatening storm surge is expected to begin late tonight and result in 3-5 feet of inundation above ground level. Our high tides will occur at 8:00 AM and 8:30 PM on Sunday.
Tropical storm winds (39 – 73 MPH winds) are expected to reach or area at approximately 10:00 AM on Sunday and continue until about 3:00 AM on Monday. Winds in this period are expected to be about 60 MPH maximum with the present track. However, should the hurricane track shift to the east winds could reach hurricane category one levels.
Heavy Rainfall of 1-3 inches may lead to considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding.
Residents in low lying areas should consider finding shelter elsewhere. The Aquidneck Island Red Cross Shelter at Gaudete Middle School, 260 Turner Road, will be open at 8:00 PM this evening. Also, the Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 2:00 PM today, and is available to answer any questions.
All emergencies or life threatening damage reports should be reported via our 911 system. All non-emergency related assistance may be directed to the Portsmouth EOC at (401) 643-0350. All local damage reports that are not immediately life threatening may be made to (401) 643-0444, but due to potential volume of reports an email report is preferred at DamageAssessment@portsmouthri.com. Reports should include the street address of the damage, point of contact information on person reporting, and a brief description and if available photograph of damage to building or public infrastructure. No one should in any way place themselves in potential danger or enter a damaged structure. Be cautious of downed power lines and damaged gas systems.
National Grid anticipates power outages for 28% of its RI customers, and restoration of power to residents could take two to three days.
Please remain safe, prepare now, and chose to get out of harm’s way before it arrives. Stay clear of beaches and other shorelines. We are not anticipating an evacuation declaration at this time, but that could change should storm predictions change. Also, emergency services may be delayed at the height of the storm.