This story was reported by Vera Chinese, Denise Bonilla. Deborah Morris, Keldy Ortiz, Nicholas Spangler and Dandan Zou. It was written by Newsday Staff.
Tropical Depression Henri is a soggy memory for Long Islanders, who still coped with heavy rain it left behind Monday, but local officials were grateful the region was spared the worst and forecasters said warmer, drier weather was ahead.
The wet aftereffects of Henri — which spared Long Island the hurricane-force winds it delivered elsewhere — will be replaced Tuesday by blue skies and high heat that will last through the workweek.
"This appears to be a 3 day heat and humidity event," the National Weather Service said in a Monday night briefing, predicting temperatures in the high 80s and close to 90 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Monday night, as Henri moved east and the threat of more storms eased, the weather service, which had extended a flood watch until Tuesday at 2 a.m., canceled it.
Forecasters did issue a warning for the South Shore through Tuesday evening, saying: "Life-threatening rip currents are likely for all people entering the surf zone" and predicting 4- to 7-foot waves at South Shore beaches along with minor flooding for vulnerable areas at high tides.
There were few reports of significant damage from Henri and local officials, mopping up Monday, expressed relief that more dire forecasts hadn't materialized.
"This was going to be this huge catastrophic hurricane that turned into what was basically a windy rainstorm, which we have on a regular basis," said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.
Henri was a nonevent for PSEG Long Island, which kept outages below 1,000 throughout most of the storm. Winds that had been forecast to top 80 mph were in the 30s and 40s in most places.
David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said conditions are no longer considered tropical. This week will remain mostly dry, he said, and Long Island's temperatures, while hot, should stop short of being the heat wave other places will see.
"It is possible that we might see at least three or four days of temperatures in the mid to upper 80s and increasing humidity levels especially as we head toward the mid part of the week," he said.
Overall, the region got back to normal Monday, with the airports, the LIRR and Fire Island ferries all resuming after shutdowns and cancellations Sunday for the storm.
State Parks on Long Island — with the exception of Gilgo Beach State Park — reopened Monday after some flooding Sunday at Jones Beach and Wildwood state park.
"We got the lifeguard equipment back on the beaches," said George Gorman, the Long Island regional director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, adding that Gilgo State Park remains closed due to erosion and will be evaluated on Tuesday.
Most town officials reported the storm was little more than a long, wet nuisance, once it turned east and weakened from the hurricane it was as it approached the area Saturday night.
Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro said: "We really got very fortunate that it took this circuitous route around Long Island. We were certainly prepared for it, but I am happy that we are not in recovery mode right now, we are simply doing an assessment."
Huntington Highway Superintendent Kevin Orelli said the town experienced flooding in limited low-lying areas that was addressed quickly with pumps.
"The flooding diminished quickly once the volume of rainfall slowed a little bit, so we were able to address any issues quickly," Orelli said. "Luckily Henri spared us."
According to Lindenhurst Village Administrator Clerk Doug Madlon there was flooding, but "once the tide went out, everything drained out," Madlon said, adding "We’re really lucky."
North Hempstead had no "significant flooding" and crews were out clearing debris off catch basins and picking up tree limbs in the past couple of days, town spokesman Gordon Tepper wrote in an email Monday.
Tepper said about a half-dozen trees came down but were cleared quickly.