The Democrat, who is set to resign at the end of the day on Monday, appeared at a televised briefing Sunday surrounded by top state officials involved in the state’s storm response.
Storm Henri crawled over the Northeast on Sunday night, continuing to unleash downpours over a region already saturated by heavy rain that swamped roads, closed bridges, and left people stranded in their vehicles, and winds that knocked out power to over 130,000 homes.
Henri made landfall Sunday on the coast of Rhode Island, and the National Hurricane Center warned that the slow-moving storm would continue dumping heavy rains on wide swaths of the region.
It was downgraded from a hurricane before reaching New England, leaving many to breathe a sigh of relief. There were few early reports of major damage due to wind or surf.
The storm was later downgraded to a tropical depression, but its heavy, sustained rains raised concerns about further flooding from the storm that threatened to stall over the region before pivoting to the East and moving out to the Atlantic Ocean on Monday night. Some of the highest rain totals were expected inland.
In Boston, officials were watching for a possible sea surge as high tide approached late Sunday night. A coastal flood warning was in effect into the early hours of Monday.
Businesses along the tourist-heavy Long Wharf were boarded up and a waterfront subway station was shuttered and its flood barriers raised ahead of the storm.
President Joe Biden on Sunday promised to provide federal help as quickly as possible to the residents of northeastern states affected by Henri. The president declared disasters in much of the region, opening the purse strings for federal recovery aid.
“We’re doing everything we can now to help those states prepare, respond and recover,” the president said.
By Sunday evening, Henri had sustained winds of about 35 mph (56 kph) as it moved across Connecticut and into Massachusetts.
As New England communities braced for heavy rains, others further south awaited sunrise to survey the damage wrought by the storm.
In Helmetta, New Jersey, some 200 residents fled for higher ground, taking refuge in hotels or with friends and family, as floodwaters inundated their homes.
“It came so quick — in the blink of an eye,” said the town’s mayor, Christopher Slavicek, whose parents were spending the night after fleeing their home.
“Now there’s clean up. So this is far from over,” the mayor said.