| 15 July 2024, Monday |

Hurricane Lee churns toward New England, eastern Canada

On Friday, Hurricane Lee barreled over the North Atlantic into New England and Eastern Canada, threatening the region with soaking rains, strong gusts, and a life-threatening storm surge over the weekend.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Center, Lee is projected to deteriorate into a strong tropical storm before making landfall in southern Nova Scotia as a severe tropical storm late Saturday.

Despite this, the storm has the ability to drop up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain and bring gusts of up to 60 miles (97 km) per hour in certain areas, leading officials in the United States and Canada to warn citizens to prepare for probable floods and power disruptions.

“Please plan ahead to stay indoors if possible on Saturday and check on your loved ones and neighbors,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement to the city’s 650,000 residents.

Some 8 million Americans in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine were under a tropical storm warning, with conditions in those states expected to deteriorate on Friday and into Saturday, the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) said.

In Canada, more than 1 million people in Nova Scotia and eastern New Brunswick were also under a tropical storm warning as the massive storm crawls northward over the open waters of the Atlantic.

“Heavy rainfall rates and potential gusty winds are our largest concern for inland areas, with the addition of high surf and minor inundation along the coast,” the NWS said on Facebook on Friday.

Some spots, such as Cape Cod in Massachusetts and eastern Halifax County in Nova Scotia may see storm surge of up to 3 feet (91 cm), forecasters said.

As of Friday morning, the storm was about 490 miles (785 km) southeast of the Massachusetts island of Nantucket as it moved north at about 16 miles per hour. It was expected to pick up speed and weaken through the day, the weather service said.

Lee is the latest storm in what is proving to be a busy hurricane season that has featured a higher-than-average number of named storms.

Just two weeks ago, on Aug. 30, Hurricane Idalia slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coaston. As Idalia moved north, the powerful storm dumped heavy rains across Florida and southeastern Georgia, flooding numerous communities and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

  • Reuters