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Storm Lee Brings Excessive Winds, Waves and Rain to New England



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BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Atlantic storm Lee made landfall at near-hurricane power Saturday, bringing harmful winds, tough surf and torrential rains to New England and Maritime Canada. However officers withdrew some warnings for the area and predicted the storm would disappear early this week.

The U.S. Nationwide Hurricane Heart mentioned early Sunday that the post-tropical cyclone was about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and about 225 miles (360 kilometers) west of Channel-Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland. The highest sustained wind pace had dropped for a 3rd time in 24 hours to 50 mph (85 kph) with some greater gusts anticipated.


“Gradual weakening is forecast in the course of the subsequent couple of days, and Lee may dissipate on Tuesday,” the hurricane middle mentioned.

The middle discontinued a tropical storm warning for the coast of Maine late Saturday and reported the Canadian Hurricane Centre had ended its tropical storm warning for New Brunswick and components of Prince Edward Island.


Storm surges have been anticipated to subside on Sunday after being forecast as as much as 3 ft (0.91 meters) on Saturday alongside coastal areas, the hurricane middle mentioned.

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A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, died Saturday after a big tree limb fell on his automobile on U.S. Freeway 1 throughout excessive winds. The limb introduced down stay energy strains and utility employees needed to lower energy earlier than eradicating the person, who died later at a hospital, Police Chief Brian Lunt mentioned.

The storm was tracked as shifting round 22 mph (35 kph) and anticipated to proceed northeast, taking the climate system throughout the Canadian Maritimes. Rainfall was anticipated to be a further 1 inch (25 millimeters) or much less for parts of jap Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the U.S. storm middle mentioned.


A tropical storm warning remained in impact for components of Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island with robust winds probably resulting in downed timber and energy outages, the middle mentioned.

The post-tropical cyclone was robust sufficient to trigger energy outages a number of hundred miles from its middle. At noon Saturday, 11% of electrical energy prospects in Maine lacked energy, together with 27% of Nova Scotia, 8% of New Brunswick and three% of Prince Edward Island.


Life-threatening surf swells and rip currents generated by Lee could have an effect on Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast, the middle mentioned.

In Bar Harbor, Maine, the touristy gateway to Acadia Nationwide Park, a whale watch vessel broke freed from its mooring and crashed ashore Saturday. Authorities labored to dump 1,800 gallons (6,813 liters) of diesel gas to stop it from spilling into the ocean.


Lee flooded coastal roads in Nova Scotia and took ferries out of service whereas fanning anxiousness in a area nonetheless reeling from wildfires and extreme flooding this summer season. The province’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield Worldwide, cancelled all flights.

“Individuals are exhausted,” mentioned Pam Lovelace, a councilor in Halifax. “It’s a lot in such a small time interval.”


Hurricane-force winds prolonged so far as 140 miles (220 kilometers) from Lee’s middle, with tropical storm-force winds extending so far as 320 miles (515 kilometers), sufficient to cowl all of Maine and far of Maritime Canada.

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


In jap Maine, winds died down sufficient by late afternoon Saturday for utility employees to start utilizing bucket vehicles to make repairs. Central Maine Energy and Versant Energy had a whole bunch of employees, together with out-of-state crews, aiding the hassle.

“At this level, the storm is resembling a nor’easter,” mentioned Sarah Thunberg, a Nationwide Climate Service meteorologist, referring to the autumn and winter storms that usually plague the area and are so named as a result of their winds blow from the northeast. They usually have a a lot wider wind subject than tropical methods with winds remaining nearer to a storm’s middle.


The whole area has skilled an particularly moist summer season, rating second within the variety of wet days in Portland, Maine — and Lee’s excessive winds toppled timber pressured by the rain-soaked floor in Maine, the nation’s most closely wooded state.

Cruise ships discovered refuge at berths in Portland, Maine, whereas lobstermen in Bar Harbor and elsewhere pulled traps from the water and hauled boats inland.


Billy Bob Faulkingham, Home Republican chief of the Maine Legislature, and one other lobsterman survived after their boat overturned whereas hauling traps forward of the storm Friday, officers mentioned.

The boat’s emergency locator beacon alerted authorities and the pair clung to the hull till assist arrived, mentioned Winter Harbor Police Chief Danny Mitchell. The 42-foot (12.8-meter) boat sank.


“They’re very fortunate to be alive,” Mitchell mentioned.

Forecasters urged residents to remain dwelling, however many ventured out anyway.


Betsy Follansbee and her husband, Fred, jogged to Higgins Seashore in Scarborough, Maine, to observe surfers — some sporting helmets — paddling out to catch waves reaching 12 ft (3.6 meters). They have been the largest waves Follansbee had seen in her 10 years residing there, she mentioned.

“We’re impressed that they’re daring sufficient to attempt,” Follansbee mentioned.


On Maine’s Bailey Island, a slender spit jutting into the Gulf of Maine, Ren Renton watched the ocean roil. “It comes and goes and takes what it needs, however hopefully not an excessive amount of,” she mentioned.

Lee shared some traits with 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Each storms have been once-strong hurricanes that grew to become post-tropical cyclones — cyclonic storms which have misplaced most of their tropical traits — earlier than landfall. Lee was not anticipated to be almost as harmful as Sandy, which prompted billions of {dollars} in harm and was blamed for dozens of deaths in New York and New Jersey.


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

Damaging hurricanes are comparatively uncommon up to now 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. There have been no storms that highly effective in recent times.


Prime photograph: The Eden Star, a 70-foot tour boat, broke freed from its mooring throughout storm Lee, Saturday, Sept. 16, in Bar Harbor, Maine, (AP Picture/Robert F. Bukaty)

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