Billion dollar storm Hurricane Henri set to wreak havoc in 'target-rich' Northeast

When the 2012 Superstorm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey among other places, it caused damages worth nearly $78 billion


                            Billion dollar storm Hurricane Henri set to wreak havoc in 'target-rich' Northeast
People visit the beach as Hurricane Henri tracks towards the area on August 21, 2021 in Westhampton, New York (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Hurricane Henri has become a massive concern for people in Northeast US but forecasts now predict these fears are extremely valid. According to a report by Bloomberg, the storm could cost a billion in destruction, including devastating losses as it becomes the first-ever hurricane to hit New England in three decades. With three days left in office after resigning in the wake of a sexual assault scandal, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has already activated 500 National Guard troops to help localities with storm response efforts in Long Island and the Hudson Valley region

News of this ominous prediction comes after Cuomo announced a State of Emergency on the afternoon of Saturday, August 21, as all updates on the storm pointed at Henri heading to New York state. The emergency has been declared for the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Broome, Chenango, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady, Saratoga, as well as contiguous counties, with Henri expected to kickstart with Long Island on Sunday, August 22.

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The predictions were made by Enki Researcher disaster modeler Chuck Watson, who made his estimation based on the reported winds of 80 to 85 miles per that Henri is approaching the coast of Rhode Island with. After its landfall at the shore, it's expected to ease onto southern New England as it weakens. The storm's widespread rain and gusting winds are expected to wreak massive havoc by uprooting trees, messing up power lines, as well as causing destructive floods roaring along the region.

“It is hard to get a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane hit anywhere in the US and not get upwards to $1 billion in impacts,” Watson told Bloomberg. “And of course the Northeast is such a target-rich environment, all those trees down, power outages, shingles damaged, and trashed fences start to add up.” When the 2012 Superstorm Sandy hit New York and New Jersey among other places, it caused destruction worth nearly $78 billion. The maximum losses incurred will be among the residents of the places Henri visits, and Bloomberg predicts these losses will be "never accurately reported because people will simply clear damage themselves and pay for repairs that aren’t covered by insurance or fall below deductibles."

People look at incoming waves on the beach at Robert Moses State Park on the eve of landfall by Hurricane Henri on August 21, 2021 in Babylon, New York. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Response teams active from August 22

Among the Cuomo-ordered storm response teams, there are also 11 high axle trucks and 14 military Humvees deployed to the region. The New York State Emergency Operations Center will remain active starting Sunday morning, as staff across several State agencies stay in touch with emergency response teams to coordinate through the storm and in its imminent aftermath. The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Fire Prevention and Control are also engaged in helping, with their Fire Operations Center set to coordinate assistance requests. They will also be deploying fire service assets through the State Fire Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan.

"New Yorkers are no strangers to the damage that is possible after dealing with a hurricane. We experienced it with Superstorm Sandy, and Henri is set to be that level of storm," Governor Cuomo said in a statement, adding: "We were given less notice to prepare for Henri because of shifting models, and while there is still time for the storm to shift again, I encourage New Yorkers to take this seriously. Plan for power outages, stock up on necessary supplies and avoid flooding areas. The state is deploying resources and we will do everything we can to ensure damage is minimal and the people of this state stay safe."