Storm Lee Causes Severe Weather and Power Outages in New England and Eastern Canada
A powerful storm named Lee has brought destructive weather conditions to New England and eastern Canada. The storm has caused the toppling of trees and widespread power outages, affecting tens of thousands of people. Lee is accompanied by hurricane-force winds, dangerous surf, and heavy rainfall as it moves closer to the region.
Severe conditions are predicted in parts of Massachusetts, Maine, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Although Lee has been downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone, it remains dangerous. The storm is expected to make landfall near or just east of the U.S.-Canada border and then continue northeast across Atlantic Canada.
Maine, known for its dense forests, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the storm due to already weakened trees from heavy summer rains. Reports of downed trees and power outages have been received from eastern Maine. The National Weather Service advises that the situation may worsen as the storm progresses.
The center of the storm is currently located southwest of Nova Scotia. It has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and is moving at a fast pace. President Joe Biden has declared an emergency in Massachusetts, and federal aid is on its way to the state.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the New Hampshire-Maine border through Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to northern New Brunswick. A hurricane watch has been issued for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
As a result of the storm, nearly 200,000 customers are without power in the affected areas. Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia has suspended all flights. Cruise ships have sought refuge in Portland, and lobstermen have taken precautions by removing their traps from the water and securing their boats inland.
Two lobstermen, including the House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature, survived a boat overturn incident while preparing for the storm. They were rescued by authorities after their emergency locator beacon alerted them. The storm has also impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, causing dangerous surf and rip current conditions in the U.S. and Canada.
Coastal areas of Maine may experience waves up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) high, leading to erosion and potential damage. Strong gusts are expected to cause further power outages. Eastern Maine is under a flash flood watch, with up to 5 inches (12 centimeters) of rain forecasted.
Despite the potential risks, some New Englanders are relatively unconcerned. Residents compare the storm to typical winter nor’easters, albeit without snow. However, precautionary measures are being taken, such as moving boats to safer locations.
In Canada, although Lee is not expected to be as severe as previous storms, residents are advised to stay home and avoid checking out the waves and wind strength. Historically, destructive hurricanes are uncommon in this region, with the last major storm occurring in 1938. However, Hurricane Irene in 2011 demonstrated that damage can extend beyond coastal areas, causing significant destruction in Vermont.