Rhode Island in the Crosshairs of Tropical Storm Henri

The summer of 2021 was highly anticipated as a mask-free season of recovery along a waterfront that traces much of Rhode Island’s eastern boundary and runs deep into the state’s innards.

But the curveballs — from a labor shortage and a pattern of rainy weekend weather to the spread of a new highly transmissable coronavirus variant — keep on coming.

This weekend’s pitch: a possible broadside by a Category 1 hurricane packing winds of 80-plus mph and a storm surge inundating low-lying areas with as much as 3 feet to 5 feet of water.

“Honestly, at this point, it’s just expected that another gut punch is coming,” said Zack Chelo, one of the owners of Blu On the Water, a popular dockside gathering spot in East Greenwich. “Just gotta roll with it, adapt and move on. That’s what we’ve done the last year and a half.”

Chelo’s stance was pretty much in line with the team-centric approach that Gov. Dan McKee recommended Friday afternoon.

“That’s the way we beat COVID and it’s the way we will weather this storm,” said McKee, who, with other state officials, asked Rhode Islanders to prepare for the worst and stay home Sunday.

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Source: The Providence Journal