The Seacoast will start to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Henri on Sunday with rough surf at the beach which could last for several days.

As of 8 a.m. Friday morning, Henri was on a path parallel to the eastern seaboard that would have it make landfall in southern New England on Sunday afternoon.

"We're still uncertain where it's going to make landfall in southern New England at this point and then it will slow down significantly and track up into the Seacoast," according to National Weather Service meteorologist Donnie Dumont.

What's the impact on the Seacoast?

The exact impact isn't yet clear but Dumont said astronomical high tides, rip tides and prolonged fetch of onshore flow could cause storm surge, coastal flooding and large swells.

Dumont said the storm is expected to stall after making landfall and bring an extended period of heavy rain and flooding, an unusual impact on the Seacoast for a tropical storm. The potential exists for 2+ inches of rain depending on the track of the storm, according to Dumont.

"Hurricanes and tropical storms usually just come up and through real fast but this storm is forecasted to stall over land and kind of meander until Monday," Dumont said.

How strong will the wind get?

Wind from Henri will top out at 40 mph, according to Dumont, who said hurricane-force winds will not be a big concern with this storm.

Saturday should be a "normal" day at the beach although rip currents will begin to increase on Saturday afternoon.

The New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Homeland Security Director Jennifer Harper said Friday and Saturday are the days to prepare for Henri.Suggest preparation includes:

  • Tie down or bring indoors any objects that might be blown around by winds.
  • Keep rain gutters and downspouts clear of debris to reduce home flooding risks.
  • Heed instructions from local emergency officials and know how to safely evacuate should you be told to do so.
  • If a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area, immediately seek higher ground.
  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Turn around, don’t drown

City of Portsmouth spokeswoman Stephanie Seacord expects a long weekend for the city's public works crews who monitor the water systems for system overflows.

"There's a system that sends out alerts if there is a combined sewer overflow which happens in those areas where the pipes aren't yet separated. That happens when we get heavy rain of any kind," Seacord said.

Eversource is keeping an eye on the storm and is ready to react given the large number of its customers working and learning from home.

"That is why we have planned for such events and adapted our response to ensure we provide our customers with the most reliable service and up-to-date information. However, it’s important to note pandemic-related restoration challenges may contribute to the length of potential outages," the utility said in a statement.

Projected path of Tropical Storm Henri as of 9 a.m. Friday
Projected path of Tropical Storm Henri as of 9 a.m. Friday (NHC)

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