Strong winds expected Sunday as Henri moves west

Abington is expected to miss the brunt of Hurricane Henri, but still could be impacted by strong winds that lead to uprooted trees and power outages.

The National Hurricane Center currently predicts that the Category 1 hurricane will curl toward the northwest and make landfall between Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay on Sunday morning. It is then expected to slowly bounce eastward across New Hampshire and Maine Monday and Tuesday.

Areas west of the storm track could receive several inches of rain in the next couple days. Areas east of the storm – including Abington – will receive much less rain, but more intense winds.

The National Hurricane Center says Eastern Massachusetts will likely experience tropical storm-type sustained winds of greater than 39 miles per hour starting Sunday morning, with higher gusts. Although the region is used to windy storms, there’s two factors that make Henri a greater threat: the trees are full of leaves, which will act like sails; and the ground is saturated from one of the rainiest summers in memory.

Bottom line: winds from Henri will likely be strong enough to uproot trees, which could then take down power lines regionwide. So make sure your cell phones, tablets, and laptops are fully charged.

Lowe’s employees on Friday pulled in all their plants ahead of Sunday’s storm

Abington Fire Chief John Nuttall suggested residents prepare ahead of time by checking sump pumps, clearing gutters, and securing or removing yard furniture that could become airborne.

“As always, in the event of any downed tree limbs or power lines, we would ask residents to stay away from them until it has been determined they are safe by [the Abington Fire Department] or National Grid crews,” he said.

Home owners should also test generators, if they have one, and make sure gas cans are filled.

The last hurricane to come ashore in Massachusetts was Hurricane Bob in 1991. Abington unofficially has experienced about 175 Nor’easters since then, however.

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