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BRATTLEBORO — With wind speeds going down, Henri went from being classified as a hurricane to a tropical storm.

“It’s doubtful that it would regain hurricane status before it hits landfall and that will be shortly, by the next couple or few hours,” Tom Kines, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said when asked about potential storm impacts for Windham and Bennington counties at 9:53 a.m. Sunday.

Kines said he doesn’t expect wind to be a major issue for southern Vermont.

“There’s certainly going to be gusts at night especially across the higher terrain,” he said.

At the time of the interview, the forecast showed the region getting at least a few inches of rain.

“The upside potential is probably 5 or 6 inches,” Kine said. “Obviously, a few inches is bad enough because that alone will cause rises on the creeks and streams, and likely some flooding as well.”

Kine said there will likely be “a sharp cutoff to where there’s a lot of rain and where there’s not a whole lot of rain.”

“That cutoff is probably going to be just to the north of you guys,” he said. “It wouldn’t take much in the track of the storm for us to miss the really heavy rain.”

Parts of New York City received 4 to 6 inches of rain over Saturday night while areas just 10 miles away only got 1.5 inches, Kine said.

At about 4 p.m. Sunday, the Vermont Department of Public Safety said Henri is anticipated to affect Vermont beginning in the early hours on Monday with heavy rain mainly in central and southern areas of the state. Governor Phil Scott requested that President Joe Biden grant a “Pre-Landfall Emergency Declaration for Vermont.”

“If approved, the declaration will allow the state to quickly receive federal assets and support to respond to the storm,” the department said. “The request was made out of an abundance of caution in case the storm overwhelms state and local capacity to respond. Vermont Emergency Management remains in close contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to lean forward in preparation.”

Flood watch warnings were issued in Bennington, Windham, Addison, Orange, Rutland and Windsor counties.

“We’re prepared,” Steve Barrett, director of Brattleboro Department of Public Works, said when asked about the storm at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Brattleboro is somewhat in the area where rain and wind are anticipated to have impacts, Barrett said. Town departments were planning to meet Sunday afternoon to discuss the weather forecast.

“As far as public works goes, we’re going to be on standby,” Barrett said. “And as the storm progresses, we’ll have personnel that are going to go out and patrol and monitor the roadways and such. The culverts, bridges and roads, we’ll be monitoring.”

The town will provide updates as the storm proceeds and will be ready to open shelters if needed, he said.

Rescue Inc. has two six-person teams with three boats staging in Windham County.

“We’ll be starting off with one team in Brattleboro and one team up in Townshend, but that is subject to change as conditions require,” said Kris “KJ” Johnston, logistics chief at Rescue.

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Wilmington Town Manager Scott Tucker told the Reformer the National Weather Service said Saturday that the storm is not comparable to Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, which destroyed downtown Wilmington and other parts of the region.

“But having said that, there’s no telling in terms of the flooding or the flash flooding that could occur depending on how the rainstorm takes shape I think,” he said.

Tucker said he has “tremendous confidence” in the town’s fire chief, police chief and road commissioner, who are keeping a close eye on the Deerfield River. On Saturday, he was told there was no need to cancel any events.

The Deerfield Valley Players performed “Cyrano” that night at Memorial Hall in Wilmington. But due to forecasted rain Sunday, the town of Dover cancelled Sunday’s show for its summer concert series.

Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said town departments and first responders have been preparing fore Henri since Friday. At about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, he noted the storm was moving westward toward southern Vermont after hitting Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“We are prepared to deal with this rain,” he said. “We all know the ground is already saturated.”

Doucette said the biggest threat isn’t rainfall but pockets of heavy rain that increase the likelihood of flooding.

“We all know that Woodford and Searsburg tend to get more wet weather than we get down here in the valley,” he said. “We’re concerned about the rainfall about that. All that has to travel through Bennington and our rivers.”

At the time of the interview, Doucette said a shelter is being set up by the American Red Cross at Mount Anthony Union Middle High School to be ready for evacuations. He said a swift water rescue team would be staged shortly, with team members bringing boats and equipment.

“We also have been in contact with some of our community partners like Southwestern Vermont Health Care to make sure that they are set,” he said.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation and Bennington Department of Public Works are on standby in case roads need to be closed, Doucette said. He anticipates heavy rainfall and wind gusts up to 30 to 40 miles per hour.

“But again, the biggest factor is the rain in already saturated ground,” he said. “We just hope people in our community are prepared, that they have been watching the weather.”

Having stopped by some of the grocery stores, Doucette said it appears people are taking Henri seriously because there’s not a lot of bottles of water left on shelves. He hopes people will remain at home during the storm.

Manchester Town Manager John O’Keefe said the town, like others in the region, recently completed a bunch of prep work and rebuilding projects following recent storms.

“Every forecast, especially when it comes to Manchester, seems to have a different variation,” he said. “It’s unclear whether we’re going to get hit or clipped.”

The plan is to have more of a police presence, keep the fire department on standby, bring an extra dispatcher on duty and monitor waterways that have been problematic in the past. The state is sending a swift water rescue team.

At about 11 a.m. Sunday, Green Mountain Power said crews are ready to respond to issues “as quickly and safely as possible for customers, and the company is urging customers to be safe as forecasters predict heavy rains and the possibility for isolated gusty winds as Henri arrives in Vermont later Sunday with the potential for the slow-moving storm to stay in Vermont through Monday.”