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Monumental storm Lee lashes New England and Canada with wind, heavy rain, pounding surf

Exercise on the Scituate Boat Ramp previous to Hurricane Lee.

Stuart Cahill | Getty Photographs

Not bearing the title of hurricane however as sturdy as one, Lee toppled bushes, swamped boats and streets, and lower energy to tens of hundreds Saturday because it lashed an infinite swath of New England and jap Canada with excessive winds, storm surge and torrential rains even with its heart nonetheless offshore.

The storm, now a post-tropical cyclone, was anticipated to make landfall at or simply beneath hurricane energy across the Maine-New Brunswick border Saturday afternoon, then flip to the northeast and transfer throughout Atlantic Canada on Saturday night time and Sunday.

It flooded coastal roads within the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and inundated boats alongside the harbor in St. Margarets Bay, fanning nervousness in a area nonetheless reeling from extreme flooding this summer time, stated Pam Lovelace, a councilor in Halifax, the capital.

“Persons are exhausted. … It is a lot in such a small time interval,” Lovelace stated. “From a psychological well being perspective, we’re asking folks to test in on their neighbors.”

In Massachusetts, the storm skirted a number of the most waterlogged areas that skilled extreme flash flooding days earlier, when quick water washed out roads, induced sinkholes, broken properties and flooded autos.

However the complete area has skilled an particularly moist summer time — it ranked second within the variety of wet days in Portland, Maine — and Lee’s excessive winds toppled bushes harassed by the rain-soaked floor in Maine, the nation’s most closely wooded state.

“We’ve got an extended method to go, and we’re already seeing downed bushes and energy outages,” stated Todd Foisy, a Nationwide Climate Service meteorologist.

The storm’s heart was simply off southern Nova Scotia, about 105 miles (170 kilometers) southeast of Eastport, Maine, and about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the U.S. Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday. It had most sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and was transferring north at 22 mph (35 kph).

Hurricane-force winds lengthen so far as 140 miles (220 kilometers) from the middle, the Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated. Tropical-storm-force winds of not less than 39 mph (62 kph) lengthen outward as much as 390 miles (630 kilometers) — sufficient to cowl all of Maine and far of Maritime Canada.

The storm was so massive that it induced energy outages a number of hundred miles from its heart. At noon Saturday, not less than 10% of electrical energy prospects in Maine lacked energy, together with 25% of Nova Scotia and eight% of New Brunswick.

“At this level, the storm is resembling a nor’easter,” stated Sarah Thunberg, a Nationwide Climate Service meteorologist, referring to fall and winter storms that always plague the area and are so named as a result of their winds blow from the northeast.

In typical tropical cyclones, Thunberg stated, winds are concentrated across the eye. However Lee, a really massive storm, has a wider wind discipline.

A tropical storm warning stretched from the New Hampshire-Maine border by way of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to northern New Brunswick. A hurricane watch was in impact for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield Worldwide, had no incoming or outgoing flights scheduled Saturday.

Peak gusts are projected to be 70 mph (113 kph) on the coast in jap Maine, however there can be gusts as much as 50 mph (80 kph) throughout a swath greater than 400 miles huge, from Maine’s Moosehead Lake eastward all the best way into the ocean, Foisy stated.

Cruise ships discovered refuge at berths in Portland, whereas lobstermen in Bar Harbor — the touristy gateway to Acadia Nationwide Park — and elsewhere pulled their expensive traps from the water and hauled their boats inland, leaving some harbors wanting like ghost cities on Friday.

Keith Oliver works a ship journey elevate to take a ship out of the ocean on the Billings Diesel & Marine Service in preparation for the attainable arrival of Hurricane Lee on September 15, 2023 in Stonington, Maine. 

Joe Raedle | Getty Photographs

Two lobstermen — one in all them Billy Bob Faulkingham, Home Republican chief of the Maine Legislature — survived after their boat overturned whereas hauling traps Friday forward of the storm, officers stated.

The boat’s emergency locator beacon alerted authorities, and the 2 fishermen clung to the hull of the overturned boat till assist arrived, stated Winter Harbor Police Chief Danny Mitchell. The 42-foot boat sank.

“They’re very fortunate to be alive,” he stated.

Lee lashed the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Bermuda earlier than turning northward, and heavy swells had been more likely to trigger “life-threatening surf and rip present situations” within the U.S. and Canada, in line with the hurricane heart.

Federal help is headed to Massachusetts after President Joe Biden declared an emergency Saturday.

Whilst they ready, New Englanders appeared largely unconcerned. Some brushed apart Lee as a glorified nor’easter.

Mickey Neuts-Richards, of South Portland, got here out early Saturday to a coastal overlook hoping to see the storm’s fury on full show however was disillusioned.

“I used to be simply anticipating extra waves smashing up in opposition to the rocks a bit bit, you already know? I awoke this morning and I appeared out the window and I believed it could be downpouring, however nothing,” she stated. “The place’s Lee?”

Canadian meteorologist Jill Maepea stated Lee is not wherever close to as extreme because the remnants of Hurricane Fiona, which a yr in the past washed homes into the ocean, knocked out energy to most of two provinces and swept a girl into the ocean.

However it was nonetheless a harmful storm. Kyle Leavitt, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Administration Group, urged residents to remain dwelling, saying, “Nothing good can come from trying out the massive waves and the way sturdy the wind actually is.”

Lee shares some traits with 2012’s damaging Superstorm Sandy — each had been as soon as sturdy hurricanes that turned post-tropical cyclones earlier than landfall. However Lee is predicted to supply far much less rain than Sandy, which induced billions of {dollars} in injury and was blamed for dozens of deaths in New York and New Jersey.

Damaging hurricanes are comparatively uncommon to date north. The Nice New England Hurricane of 1938 introduced gusts as excessive as 186 mph (300 kph) and sustained winds of 121 mph (195 kph) at Massachusetts’ Blue Hill Observatory. However there have been no storms that highly effective lately.

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