With Fred, Grace and Henri, hurricane season heats up

·National Reporter and Producer
·3-min read

Hot on the heels of Fred, the arrival of two more tropical storms — Grace and Henri — is making for an intense Atlantic hurricane season.

Computer models suggest that Tropical Storm Henri could make landfall on the U.S. mainland sometime on Sunday or Monday, though exactly where remains unclear.

“The biggest point here is that it’s still too soon to know exactly how close Henri’s center will get to the coast of New England,” the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.

Two Atlantic storms cause damage as a third makes its way to the U.S.
Two Atlantic storms cause damage as a third makes its way to the U.S.
Tropical Storm Henri could strengthen into a hurricane as it heads for the New England area.
Tropical Storm Henri could strengthen into a hurricane as it heads for the New England area.

Henri, which had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour as of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, was moving northward from its location between Bermuda and the coast of South Carolina, and was forecast to reach hurricane strength by early Saturday morning.

The NHC forecasts that most of the eastern U.S. coast will experience dangerous surf and rip currents, which have claimed more than 100 lives every year, according to the National Weather Service.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred continued to dump rain on portions of New England and Maine on Thursday, and flash flood warnings remained in effect for much of western Maine. The storm could still bring an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain to parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and it continues to pack maximum winds of 30 miles per hour.

Fred first landed in Florida as a tropical storm last week, before heading inland and being felt most acutely in North Carolina. In Haywood County, N.C., 20 people were missing as of Thursday and two people were confirmed dead. More than 200 rescuers set out on Thursday to find the other missing residents. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper toured flood-damaged areas and declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

“This state of emergency will allow our first responders to get into our affected communities quickly to save lives, restore power, remove debris and bring supplies,” he said in a statement. “North Carolina is strong and resilient, and we’re committed to helping people and businesses recover as quickly as possible.”

The strongest of the three active storms, Grace, was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour after making landfall in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday.

The force of Hurricane Grace knocked down road signs along Mexico's eastern Yucatan Peninsula
The force of Hurricane Grace knocked down road signs along Mexico's eastern Yucatan Peninsula. (Elizabeth Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s expected to regain hurricane strength in the Gulf of Mexico before making a second landfall along central Mexico’s eastern coastline late Friday, according to the NHC.

A damaged power line
A damaged power line in Tulum, Mexico. (Paola Chiomante/Reuters)

Before reaching Mexico, Grace drenched parts of Haiti, which was already reeling over the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that caused widespread damage and killed more than 2,000 people.

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