Tropical Storm Henri hammers US northeast bringing heavy rains and floods

Tropical Storm Henri is already hammering the US Northeast with heavy rain and flooding as the storm nears landfall in eastern Long Island or southern New England on Sunday.

Henri, which weakened slightly from a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday morning, poses a serious flooding danger for millions of people across the major metropolitan areas in the region.

Even below hurricane level, the storm will be dangerous enough to bring damaging winds and storm surge that threaten to bring down trees and power lines along with major flooding.

Henri is about 40 miles south-southeast of Montauk Point, New York, and moving north-northwest at 16 mph, with 70 mph sustained winds, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The hurricane has sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

More than 45 million people are under tropical storm warnings from Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, all the way to Chatham on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, a stretch that includes New York City; all of Long Island; New Haven, Connecticut; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Flash flood watches are in effect for more than 35 million people, and storm surge warnings were also in place for much of Long Island and for parts of the Cape Cod coastline, the NHC said.

A storm surge warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline.