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Atlantic Storm Lee Hits Nova Scotia, Canada, with Sustained Winds of 70 MPH

by Gabriel Martinez
4 comments
Storm Lee Nova Scotia

Late on Saturday afternoon, Atlantic Storm Lee made its presence felt as it touched down in Nova Scotia, Canada, with winds approaching hurricane force. Prior to its arrival, the storm unleashed high winds, intense rainfall, and turbulent sea conditions across a broad expanse of New England and Maritime Canada. The adverse weather resulted in fallen trees, inundated coastlines, and power disruptions affecting tens of thousands of residents.

The storm came ashore with steady winds of 70 miles per hour (approximately 110 kilometers per hour), its center approximately 135 miles (215 kilometers) to the west of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital, as reported by the U.S. National Hurricane Center. This is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast from Eastport, Maine, according to American meteorological authorities.

As the storm moves onward to New Brunswick and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it is anticipated to weaken, according to weather forecasters.

In the United States, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning spanning 230 miles (approximately 370 kilometers), extending from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to the easternmost point of Maine. This included tourist locales like Bar Harbor, near the entrance to Acadia National Park, where a whale watching vessel became unmoored and ran aground near the College of the Atlantic.

Officials reported that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard are jointly taking measures to remove 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel from the vessel to prevent marine pollution.

Storm Lee led to flooded roadways and disabled boats in Nova Scotia, and also caused power outages and disrupted ferry services. Residents in the region, already distressed by a series of wildfires and flooding incidents this summer, found themselves further besieged. Halifax Stanfield International Airport canceled all flights for the day.

As the situation deteriorated, Halifax Councilor Pam Lovelace urged community members to look out for each other, stating, “From a mental health perspective, we’re asking people to check in on their neighbors.”

Weather advisories for tropical storms were issued across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were also under a hurricane watch.

The storm had far-reaching impact; its hurricane-level winds reached out to a radius of 140 miles (220 kilometers) from its center, and tropical storm winds covered an area extending up to 390 miles (630 kilometers). This was sufficient to affect the entirety of Maine and a significant portion of Maritime Canada.

Electricity supply was severely compromised; as of Saturday afternoon, Maine had 11% of its customer base without power, whereas the figures for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island were 27%, 8%, and 3%, respectively.

Coastal Maine was warned of a storm surge varying between 1 and 3 feet, accompanied by large, destructive waves. Forecasts predicted up to 4 inches of rain across Maine, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, raising concerns about localized flooding.

Remarkably, some of Massachusetts’ most flood-prone areas were spared the worst as the storm passed by. National Weather Service Meteorologist Sarah Thunberg noted the similarities of the storm to a nor’easter, a type of storm that typically affects the region during fall and winter and is characterized by a larger wind field.

The state of Maine, which has experienced an unusually wet summer, faced additional risks as Lee’s winds brought down trees weakened by saturated soil conditions.

Fishing vessels sought safe harbor in Portland, and lobstermen in areas including Bar Harbor took precautionary measures by moving their traps and boats inland.

In a near-fatal incident, Billy Bob Faulkingham, the House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature, and another lobsterman were rescued after their boat capsized while they were preparing for the storm.

Before approaching North America, Lee had already impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Hazardous ocean conditions were reported both in the United States and Canada.

Emergency Management officials advised residents to remain indoors, cautioning that venturing out to examine the storm’s effects could lead to perilous situations. Nonetheless, some chose to venture outside, attracted by the spectacle of the turbulent sea.

Storm Lee shares some similarities with Superstorm Sandy of 2012; both began as powerful hurricanes and transitioned to post-tropical cyclones before making landfall. However, the expected level of destruction from Lee is considerably lower than what was experienced during Sandy.

Destructive hurricanes in these northern latitudes are an uncommon occurrence. The most potent on record is the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which produced gusts reaching 186 mph (approximately 300 kph).

Reporters contributing to this article:

This article has been compiled with contributions from reporters Robert Bumsted in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine; Michael Casey in Boston; Rob Gillies in Toronto; and Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire.

Correction:

An earlier version of this article incorrectly named the Republican leader of the Maine Legislature as Bill Bob Faulkingham. The correct name is Billy Bob Faulkingham.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Storm Lee Nova Scotia

What is the current status of Storm Lee?

Atlantic Storm Lee made landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada, with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, causing disruptions and damage.

Where did Storm Lee impact before reaching Nova Scotia?

Before reaching Nova Scotia, Storm Lee lashed the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, causing hazardous ocean conditions.

How extensive were the power outages caused by Storm Lee?

As of Saturday afternoon, power outages were significant, with 11% of Maine, 27% of Nova Scotia, 8% of New Brunswick, and 3% of Prince Edward Island experiencing disruptions.

Were there any significant incidents related to the storm?

Yes, there were incidents related to the storm, including a whale watch vessel breaking free of its mooring and crashing ashore in Bar Harbor, Maine. Additionally, the Republican leader of the Maine Legislature and another lobsterman survived a boat capsizing incident while preparing for the storm.

Is there a comparison between Storm Lee and other notable storms like Superstorm Sandy?

Yes, there are some similarities between Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy. Both started as powerful hurricanes and transitioned into post-tropical cyclones before making landfall. However, Storm Lee was not expected to be as destructive as Sandy.

What precautions were advised by emergency management officials?

Emergency management officials advised residents to stay indoors and not venture out to observe the storm, as it could lead to dangerous situations.

More about Storm Lee Nova Scotia

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4 comments

InfoSeeker2023 September 17, 2023 - 3:54 am

Thx 4 clear info bout Lee. Gud job reporters!

Reply
ConcernedCitizen7 September 17, 2023 - 4:40 am

Wow, these storms gettin closer 2 the north. Need 2 b prepared.

Reply
BeachLover55 September 17, 2023 - 6:18 am

waves in maine big af, ppl r brave or crazy 2 go surf in dat storm!

Reply
WeatherWatcher43 September 17, 2023 - 6:09 pm

cool article bout Storm Lee, hrd it hit hrd in Nova Scotia. pwr outages r bad tho. Reminds me of Sandy.

Reply

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