Meteorologists have warned of the risk of violent winds, flooding and hurricanes as the event hits the Atlantic and is expected to reach the mainland on Sunday.
“Strengthening is expected for the next day and Henry is likely to become a hurricane this evening (Friday) or Saturday,” the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest newsletter.
Officials in the New England region, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, have urged residents to prepare.
“We urge all residents to begin hurricane preparedness today and pay attention to local weather,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s office said.
The governor’s office said the state, which would close parks and beaches from Saturday to Monday, was preparing itself for strong winds, which would cut power for 300,000 users.
NHC meteorologists indicated that Henry was driving winds of about 110 kilometers per hour and threatened New York, as well as neighboring New England states, with about 25 centimeters of rain in some areas.
The NHC bulletin said the storm could “potentially cause deadly waves and hangover conditions.”
If Henry strengthens as expected and remains on its current course, the storm will be the first to hit New England in 30 years.
In 1991, Hurricane Bob was the last to directly hit New England.
“The last hurricane warning in this area was issued for Hurricane Irene in late August 2011,” the New York City National Weather Service tweeted.