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New England Grapples with Recent Extreme Weather as Hurricane Lee Approaches

by Lucas Garcia
8 comments
Hurricane Lee

As New England continues to recover from a series of severe weather events including heavy rainfall, flash floods, and a probable tornado, Hurricane Lee looms as the next significant threat, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest reports.

A hurricane watch is currently in effect from Stonington, Maine, extending to the U.S.-Canadian border. This watch anticipates the possibility of hurricane conditions, substantial rainfall, and coastal flooding beginning Friday night and extending into Saturday.

Coastal areas ranging from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine, inclusive of Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, are under a tropical storm watch. In addition, Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket have been issued a storm surge watch, signaling potential life-endangering floods late this Friday and Saturday.

Earlier this week, the region was battered by a storm system that deposited 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in just a six-hour period. The subsequent impact included tornado warnings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, extreme flooding, and the formation of hazardous sinkholes.

Additional Context on Hurricane Lee

As Hurricane Lee sets its sights on both New England and Atlantic Canada, its anticipated arrival adds another layer of concern for a region still grappling with the aftermath of previous storms.

The National Weather Service in Boston has confirmed through radar data and video evidence that a tornado likely caused considerable damage to trees and utility lines in both Rhode Island and Connecticut this past Wednesday. Photographs from Lincoln, Rhode Island showed damaged rooftops and structural damage to a high school stadium.

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced on social media platforms that the state’s emergency operations center has been activated and will remain vigilant over the rapidly changing weather conditions in the days to come. “Staying informed through regular updates is currently the best course of action,” stated McKee.

In North Attleborough, Massachusetts, a community already battered by flooding earlier in the week, residents like Sean Pope remain vigilant. His swimming pool was transformed into a mud pit, and his basement was inundated with three feet (91 centimeters) of water.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency late Tuesday, describing the prior torrential downpour as a “200-year event,” according to Matthew Belk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston. Healey stressed that the state is closely monitoring dam conditions and urged residents to heed flood warnings and stay off the roads when advised.

Infrastructure Damage and Ongoing Concerns

The recent flooding led to the creation of multiple sinkholes in Leominster, Massachusetts, including one that engulfed several cars at a dealership. In Providence, Rhode Island, substantial flooding occurred in a parking area and portions of a retail center, requiring firefighter-led boat rescues for over two dozen stranded individuals.

The Mayor of Leominster, Dean Mazzarella, disclosed at a press conference that initial estimates for restoring city infrastructure could range from $25 million to $40 million.

This latest string of extreme weather events is part of a broader pattern affecting New England, which also suffered from severe flooding in Vermont earlier this summer. The increasing frequency of such events is corroborated by scientific data indicating that a warming atmosphere is contributing to more extreme weather phenomena.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hurricane Lee

What areas are under a hurricane watch due to Hurricane Lee?

A hurricane watch is currently in effect from Stonington, Maine, extending to the U.S.-Canadian border. This watch anticipates the possibility of hurricane conditions, substantial rainfall, and coastal flooding beginning Friday night and extending into Saturday.

Are there any other types of weather watches in effect?

Yes, areas ranging from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine, inclusive of Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, are under a tropical storm watch. Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket have been issued a storm surge watch, signaling potential life-endangering floods late this Friday and Saturday.

What has been the impact of previous severe weather in New England?

Earlier this week, the region experienced a storm system that deposited 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in just a six-hour period. The subsequent impact included tornado warnings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, extreme flooding, and the formation of hazardous sinkholes.

What is the state’s emergency response to the current situation?

Both Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee and Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey have activated their respective state’s emergency operations centers. They are closely monitoring weather conditions and infrastructure, and they have urged residents to heed flood warnings and stay off the roads when advised.

What kind of infrastructure damage has already occurred?

The recent flooding led to the creation of multiple sinkholes in Leominster, Massachusetts, including one that engulfed several cars at a dealership. In Providence, Rhode Island, substantial flooding occurred in a parking area and portions of a retail center, requiring firefighter-led boat rescues for over two dozen stranded individuals.

What are the financial implications of the damage?

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella disclosed that initial estimates for restoring city infrastructure could range from $25 million to $40 million.

Are these extreme weather events related to climate change?

The article indicates that the increasing frequency of such events is corroborated by scientific data, suggesting that a warming atmosphere is contributing to more extreme weather phenomena.

More about Hurricane Lee

  • National Hurricane Center’s Latest Reports
  • Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee’s Social Media Update
  • Massachusetts State of Emergency Declaration
  • National Weather Service in Boston Radar Data
  • Leominster Infrastructure Damage Press Conference
  • Scientific Data on Climate Change and Extreme Weather

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8 comments

WeatherGeek September 14, 2023 - 11:08 am

Been following the NHC reports closely, and this article sums it up well. Prep now, don’t wait till the last minute folks.

Reply
JohnDoe42 September 14, 2023 - 5:53 pm

Wow, this situation sounds pretty dire. Hurricane Lee on top of everything else? Stay safe everyone.

Reply
TravelerTim September 14, 2023 - 8:19 pm

had plans to visit Nantucket this weekend. Definitely rethinking that idea now. Thanks for the detailed update.

Reply
CryptoFan101 September 14, 2023 - 10:15 pm

Does anyone know how this kinda stuff impacts the economy? Guessing insurance companies are about to make a killing or take a hit, not sure which.

Reply
EmilyR September 15, 2023 - 1:03 am

So much for climate change being a ‘hoax’. Just look at what’s happening! People need to take this seriously.

Reply
InvestorMike September 15, 2023 - 4:50 am

Wonder how this will affect market trends especially in the construction and emergency supply sectors. Keep an eye out, people.

Reply
LocalMom27 September 15, 2023 - 6:09 am

My heart goes out to everyone affected. What’s next locusts?! 2023 is turning out to be quite a year…

Reply
GreenActivist September 15, 2023 - 9:12 am

this is why we need to act on climate change ASAP. Infrastructure cant even handle what we got now.

Reply

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