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Henri hits softly and runs

“Pretty darned good,” said Highway Superintendent Brian Sherman Monday morning, evaluating the state of the Island after Tropical Storm Henri barely brushed the Island over the weekend on its way toward a landfall in southern New England.

Henri had been rated a Category 1 Hurricane, but was downgraded to tropical storm status early Sunday morning. The concern then by Police Chief Jim Read was potential damage from high winds, heavy rain and flooding at high tides, but he said what was on the lips of many Islanders, “We dodged a bullet.” 

Rather than horrific winds and high tides and storm surges of 4 to 6 feet, Bridg Hunt, general manager of North Ferry, said “the highest gust we recorded was on the back of the storm when the wind came from the west with a gust of 50 mph. The highest gust from the east was 41 mph. Again, with the wind from the west we had about an hour of 40 mph sustained wind. From the east, 31 mph sustained wind speed.”

The highest tide for North Ferry was about 14 inches above the average measured at the Greenport landing.

Chief Read was out doing an assessment of the Island early Monday morning. He found that one of his major worries was that especially high tides and wind-driven surf would wash over the causeway to Ram Island isolating the area, as it did during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. But that didn’t happen this past weekend.

Mr. Sherman said only two trees — “and they weren’t that big” — came down along with some tree branches and limbs. There was no significant damage to property. Highway Department road crews were out early cleaning up debris, Mr. Sherman said, adding that there was no road flooding.

Chief Read said there were minimum power outages, with about five reported in Cartwright, and about 80 people were without power on Ram Island. Power was restored in both places by PSEG crews by 7 p.m. Sunday.

There were no injuries or emergencies, Chief Read said.