Henri Is Now A Tropical Depression. Flood Watch Remains For Windham County
Vermont reporters are tracking the progress of Tropical Depression Henri, which comes to New England the same week as the 10th anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene.
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The National Weather Service reports rainy conditions will persist in southern Vermont into the evening. A state swiftwater rescue team will remain on alert through today, and a flood watch remains in effect until 8 p.m. for Windham County.
Henri comes as some towns in the region are still recovering from significant storm damage sustained at the end of last month. Some roads remain closed. That storm caused an estimated $5 million in damage and left the area saturated.
"Those repairs are very tenuous," said Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann. "And there is still the opportunity that they could get another cell or bands that sets up off of Henri as it moves and traverses across southern New England.”
- Howard Weiss-Tisman and Brittany Patterson
While most of Vermont was able to avoid Tropical Depression Henri, a flood watch remains in place for Windham County through this evening.
Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann says a swiftwater rescue team will probably remain in southeastern Vermont through the rest of the day.
“I don’t know that I want to declare victory just yet," Bornemann said. "It is still particularly vulnerable in that area of the state, to flash flooding, if they receive over an inch and a half of rain in an hour."
The storm tracked mostly south and east of Vermont, but heavy rain is expected to fall in Windham County into this evening.
- Howard Weiss-Tisman
Many in Vermont woke up today feeling haunted as well as relieved from the threat of what has now become Tropical Depression Henri.
Former Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras says watching the storm's progression toward New England brought back vivid memories of the destruction and death of Irene a decade ago.
“It screwed with my mind in a number of ways, clearly, because I just couldn’t shake it,” Louras said. “I couldn’t get it out of my head.”
“And I imagine there were a lot of people in that precise same situation,” he added. “A number of folks I spoke to were like, ‘Jeezum, again? Ten years to the week? Really? This is what we gotta deal with?’”
Eye on the Sky forecaster Mark Breen says Henri is notably different than the destruction Irene wrought through Vermont a decade ago.
“Whereas Irene tracked almost due north, right through the eastern parts of Vermont, this storm system won't even cross the border of Vermont,” Breen said. “It will stay to our south, down across Massachusetts, as it heads eastward.”
As of midday, the National Weather Service says Henri is forecast to remain mostly south of the North Country. The potential for flooding over portions of south-central Vermont has decreased, but scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.
A flood watch is still in effect for Windham County.
- Matthew Smith and Nina Keck