UNITED STATES NEWS

Hurricane Lee targets New England and eastern Canada with wind, roiling seas and rain

Sep 14, 2023, 9:04 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2023, 7:20 pm

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Fishermen removed lobster traps from the water and residents hauled hundreds of boats ashore — leaving some harbors looking like ghost towns — while utility workers from as far away as Tennessee began taking up positions Friday ahead of Hurricane Lee’s heavy winds, high seas and rain that’s expected to span hundreds of miles (kilometers) of land and sea.

The storm is projected to be more than 400 miles (640 kilometers) wide with tropical-storm-force winds when it reaches land, creating worries of power outages in Maine, the nation’s most heavily forested state, where the ground is saturated and trees are weakened from heavy summer rains.

Lee remained a hurricane with 80 mph (128 kph) winds at night as it headed toward New England and eastern Canada with 20-foot (6-meter) ocean swells, strong winds and rain. Forecasters said there would be winds topping 40 mph (64 kph) across the region, with peak winds reaching upward of 65 mph (104 kph), ahead of landfall expected Saturday afternoon .

There was little else to be done but wait and worry, and make final preparations as Lee spun about 300 miles (485 kilometers) southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

In Bar Harbor, there were only two lobster boats in the water compared with 20 to 25 on a normal day. Lobsterman Bruce Young said his 38-foot (12-meter) vessel was transported to the local airport, saying it’s better to be safe than sorry. “There’s going to be huge white rollers coming in on top of 50 to 60 mph winds. It’ll be quite entertaining,” he said.

On Long Island, commercial lobster fisherman Steve Train had just finished hauling 200 traps out of the water. Train, who is also a firefighter, was going to wait out the storm on the island in Casco Bay.

He was not concerned about staying there in the storm. “Not one bit,” he said.

In South Thomaston, Dave Cousens, who lost fishing gear when Hurricane Bob came through in 1991, said lobstermen were busy moving their traps, which cost $100 to $170 apiece, out of harm’s way to try to avoid damage from the rough seas.

While landfall was projected for nearby Nova Scotia, the Category 1 system was big enough to cause concerns over a wide area even if it weakens to a tropical storm. Parts of coastal Maine could see waves up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) high crashing down, causing erosion and damage, and the strong gusts will cause power outages, said Louise Fode, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Maine. As much as 5 inches (12 centimeters) of rain was forecast for eastern Maine, where a flash flood watch was in effect.

In Canada, Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said Lee won’t be anywhere near the severity of the remnants of Hurricane Fiona, which washed houses into the ocean, knocked out power to most of two provinces and swept a woman into the sea a year ago.

But it was still a dangerous storm. Kyle Leavitt, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization, urged residents to stay home, saying, “Nothing good can come from checking out the big waves and how strong the wind truly is.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was convening the incident response group, which meets only to discuss events with major implications for Canada, on Friday. Consisting of Cabinet ministers and senior officials, it was previously convened over events including the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the record wildfire season this year.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey joined Maine in declaring a state of emergency and asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue a pre-disaster emergency declaration. She also activated up to 50 National Guard members to help with storm preparations, including operating highwater vehicles to respond to flooded areas.

The storm’s arrival was expected just days after heavy flooding and tornadoes in New England.

“As we’ve seen in recent weeks, severe weather is not to be taken lightly. Flooding, wind damage, downed trees, tree limbs — all these things create real hazards and problems for people,” Healey said.

East Hampton, New York, barred swimming — and, in at least some places, even walking — on beaches because of dangerous surf. Caution tape was strung up along the edge of the sand at the tony second-home community’s picturesque Main Beach, where waves already were roiling Friday afternoon, News12 Long Island video showed.

In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee said crews were working to secure the iconic 11-foot-tall (3.4-meter-tall) “Independent Man” statue atop the State House dome. Workers wanted to safeguard the 500-pound statue against the storm’s wind and rain after a drone recently captured footage showing damage to the base.

In Maine, where people are accustomed to damaging winter nor’easters, some brushed aside the coming Lee as something akin to those storms only without the snow.

“We fear nor’easters up here more than the remnants of a tropical storm,” said Andrea Silverthorne, who works in reception and reservations at the Inn on the Wharf in Lubec, Maine’s easternmost town.

Many tourists were caught up in the storm.

Kent Thomas and his wife Robin, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, watched the weather reports closely before deciding to travel to Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. They’re used to big storms back home, so they’re going with the flow.

“We’ll hunker down like everyone else with the winds and the weather,” Kent Thomas said while visiting Bar Harbor. “We have a lot of experience with tropical storms and hurricanes in North Carolina. Power outages and tree damage go with the territory.”

Destructive hurricanes are relatively rare this far to the north. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 brought gusts as high as 186 mph (300 kph) and sustained winds of 121 mph (195 kph) at Massachusetts’ Blue Hill Observatory. But there have been no storms that powerful in recent years.

The last storm to make landfall in New England as a hurricane was Bob, which tore across Cape Cod and charged northward toward Maine, losing steam and becoming a tropical storm, according to the National Weather Service.

The region learned the hard way with Hurricane Irene in 2011 that damage isn’t always confined to the coast. Downgraded to a tropical storm, Irene still caused more than $800 million in damage in Vermont.

For this storm, part of Maine was briefly under a hurricane watch for the first time since 2008, for Hurricane Kyle, which skirted eastern Maine. The last hurricane to make landfall in Maine was Hurricane Gerda, which hit Eastport in 1969.

___

Sharp and Whittle reported from Portland. Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed.

United States News

Associated Press

Latest deadly weather in US kills at least 18 as storms carve path of ruin across multiple states

VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) — Powerful storms killed at least 18 people, injured hundreds and left a wide trail of destruction across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S. The storms inflicted their […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares mostly higher after rebound on Wall St

Asian shares were mostly higher on Monday after U.S. stocks bounced back from Wall Street’s worst day since April to finish higher for the week. U.S. futures slipped while oil prices advanced. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.3% to 38,758.96 and the Kospi in Seoul jumped 0.7% to 2,705.87. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.7% to 2,705.87 […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Lightning strike kills Colorado rancher and 34 head of cattle

DENVER (AP) — A lightning strike killed a Colorado rancher and 34 head of cattle over the weekend, officials said Sunday. Mike Morgan, 51, was feeding his cattle from a trailer when he was struck and died on the scene despite life-saving efforts, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said. The lightning bolt struck on wide […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Former ‘General Hospital’ actor Johnny Wactor killed in downtown Los Angeles shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former “General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor was shot and killed when he interrupted thieves stealing the catalytic converter from his car in Los Angeles, his family said Sunday. The shooting occurred around 3 a.m. Saturday when the victim approached three men in downtown LA, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. […]

4 hours ago

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court to testify in Do...

Associated Press

Here’s what every key witness said at Donald Trump’s hush money trial

Testimony is over at Trump’s criminal trial featuring 22 witnesses, including a porn actor, tabloid publisher and White House insiders.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Christian group temporarily opens beaches it has closed on Sunday mornings as court fight plays out

OCEAN GROVE, N.J. (AP) — For the first time in generations, beachgoers were out on the sand in a New Jersey shore community on the Sunday morning before Memorial Day as a Christian religious group fights the state over its regular beach closures there during Sunday services. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Hurricane Lee targets New England and eastern Canada with wind, roiling seas and rain