Governor Baker urges caution ahead of Tropical Storm Henri

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Baker is urging residents to prepare for Tropical Storm Henri, which is expected to impact Massachusetts beginning Saturday night into Monday, including the potential for strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and power outages.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Baker-Polito Administration, officials are advising everyone to avoid unnecessary travel and for those planning to visit the Cape or Islands this weekend to delay trips. Anyone at the Cape or Islands are advised to consider leaving on Saturday or extend their travel plans through early next week.

Governor Baker activated up to 1,000 guardsmen from the Massachusetts National Guard to provide help with highwater rescue, debris clearing and public safety support from impacted communities.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for portions of Long Island and southern New England including the coast from New Haven, Connecticut, to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts; and Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island. A Storm Surge Watch is issued for the possibility of storm surge inundation as high as 3 to 5 feet above ground level.

Severe Weather

Residents can call 2-1-1 to obtain disaster information and call local public safety non-emergency phone numbers or town halls for local questions. Property owners are encouraged to take photos or videos to document any damages to property and to contact their insurance company.

The storm could cause power outages impacting at least 100,000 residents, and possibly as many as 300,000, and utility crews are being staged to assist in restoring power.

MBTA: The MBTA is currently operating normal scheduled service on all modes, but anticipates delays or service disruptions, particularly in low-lying areas and sections of the rapid transit system where trains are powered by overhead wires. Keolis and the MBTA will closely monitor weather forecasts to assess expected and real-time conditions related to scheduled service and operations. The MBTA is encouraging its customers to get service information by signing up for T-Alerts, following @MBTA and @MBTA_CR on Twitter, and using the MBTA commuter rail app

Highway Safety: Traveling during the storm is expected to be hazardous, and residents are advised to plan ahead and stay home if possible. Do not drive in flooded areas. Currently, it is projected that the Route 128/95 and Interstate 495 corridors will be heavily impacted Sunday through Monday.

Public Safety: In addition to 1,000 National Guard personnel available to assist local and state agencies, Massachusetts State Police have moved additional Marine Unit assets into southeastern Massachusetts and will be prepared to move additional personnel or equipment to the islands if necessary. Additional MSP sections and units will have personnel ready to deploy into affected areas to boost staffing, and Troop commanders will determine whether to hold over shifts or call in upcoming shifts early based on storm projections. The Department of Fire Services likewise remains in contact with fire departments on Cape Cod and elsewhere to provide support before, during, and after the storm.

DCR Closures: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close state campgrounds beginning Saturday at 11:00 a.m. through Monday evening. DCR anticipates reopening campgrounds Tuesday morning. Campers with reservations are being notified by DCR and will be provided with a full refund. All campers on DCR campgrounds must check out and exit the property by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Beginning Saturday at the close of guarded hours, DCR will close all state pools and coastal beaches through Sunday. Additionally, all DCR-managed inland waterfronts will be unguarded on Sunday. DCR strongly encourages residents to avoid visiting state parks throughout the duration of the storm due to high winds rain, and potential flooding, and will implement closures of certain access roads, parking areas and parkways as necessary to protect public safety.

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The 22News Storm Team will continue to track Tropical Storm Henri throughout the weekend. View the latest updates on-air, on WWLP.com, and on the 22News apps.

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