LOGIN

Storm Lee Advances on New England and Eastern Canada, Bringing Potent Winds, Rainfall, and Hazardous Waves

by Michael Nguyen
10 comments
Storm Lee

Storm Lee unleashed its destructive force on Saturday, toppling trees and causing power outages for tens of thousands as its peripheral winds began affecting the coasts of New England and eastern Canada. The storm is projected to bring powerful winds, perilous waves, and heavy downpours as it continues to draw nearer.

Weather forecasts indicate severe conditions across regions of Massachusetts and Maine, with potential hurricane impacts anticipated in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Initially categorized as a hurricane, Storm Lee was demoted to a post-tropical cyclone early Saturday but remains poised to make landfall later in the day.

As of 8 a.m. EDT on Saturday, the core of the storm was situated approximately 185 miles (365 kilometers) southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and about 160 miles (355 kilometers) south-southeast of Eastport, Maine. The storm was advancing northward at a brisk speed of 25 mph (41 kph) with sustained winds reaching 80 mph (129 kph).

Emergency declarations have been issued for both Massachusetts and Maine—America’s most densely wooded state—where already-sodden ground and weakened trees have been further compromised by heavy rains during the summer months. Todd Foisy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, reported fallen trees in eastern Maine.

“The situation remains precarious, with already observable impacts such as fallen trees and power failures,” stated Foisy on Saturday.

Weather advisories including hurricane watches were in place for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning extended from Westport, Massachusetts, all the way to Nova Scotia. Utility companies reported power outages affecting tens of thousands of customers, stretching from Maine to Nova Scotia.

Maximum wind gusts along the coast of eastern Maine are projected to reach up to 70 mph (113 kph), accompanied by gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) extending over an area greater than 400 miles in width, stretching from Maine’s Moosehead Lake eastward into the Atlantic Ocean.

Commercial vessels sought shelter in the harbors of Portland, while lobster fishermen in locations like Bar Harbor, Maine, removed their expensive traps and moved their boats to safer locations, rendering some harbors eerily deserted on Friday.

Two lobstermen, including Billy Bob Faulkingham, the House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature, were fortunate to survive after their boat capsized on Friday while they were pulling traps ahead of the storm. The boat’s emergency beacon alerted authorities, enabling the fishermen to hold onto the overturned hull until rescue arrived, according to Winter Harbor Police Chief Danny Mitchell.

“They are indeed fortunate to be alive,” Mitchell commented.

Prior to its northward trajectory, Lee had battered regions including the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. The hurricane center warns of life-endangering surf and rip currents likely to affect both the U.S. and Canada. Coastal areas in Maine could experience waves reaching up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) high, leading to erosion and property damage, with power outages expected due to forceful winds, according to Louise Fode, another National Weather Service meteorologist. Flash flood watches are in effect, and up to 5 inches (12 centimeters) of rain is predicted for eastern Maine.

Nonetheless, residents of New England, particularly in Maine, appeared largely unfazed. Accustomed to the harsh winter storms known as nor’easters, some locals considered the approaching Storm Lee merely as a comparable event but without snow.

Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Hurricane Centre, stated that Lee would not match the severity of last year’s Hurricane Fiona, which caused extensive damage including sweeping houses into the ocean and causing widespread power outages. However, the storm should not be underestimated, warned Kyle Leavitt, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization, advising residents to stay indoors.

While devastating hurricanes are uncommon in these northern regions, history has shown the potential for significant damage. Hurricane Irene in 2011, although downgraded to a tropical storm, still inflicted over $800 million in damages in Vermont, demonstrating that risks are not confined to coastal areas alone.


Reporting contributed by Sharp and Whittle from Portland. Additional contributions from Big Big News writer Rob Gillies in Toronto and Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire.


This article has been updated to correctly identify the House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature as Billy Bob Faulkingham, not Bill Bob.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Storm Lee

What areas are most affected by Storm Lee?

New England and eastern Canada, specifically parts of Massachusetts and Maine, along with the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, are most affected by Storm Lee.

What is the current status of Storm Lee?

As of 8 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Storm Lee was classified as a post-tropical cyclone. It was located approximately 185 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and about 160 miles south-southeast of Eastport, Maine. The storm is moving northward at a speed of 25 mph with sustained winds of 80 mph.

Have any states of emergency been declared?

Yes, states of emergency have been declared in Massachusetts and Maine to prepare for the storm’s impact.

What is the extent of the power outages?

Utility companies have reported tens of thousands of power outages extending from Maine to Nova Scotia.

Are there any weather advisories in place?

Hurricane watches are in effect for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A tropical storm warning is also in place, extending from Westport, Massachusetts, to Nova Scotia.

What precautions are fishermen taking?

Lobstermen in places like Bar Harbor, Maine, have removed their traps from the water and moved their boats to safer locations. Some harbors have been left virtually empty as a result.

What potential damages are expected?

Maximum wind gusts along the coast of eastern Maine could reach up to 70 mph, causing downed trees and power outages. Coastal areas in Maine could also see waves up to 15 feet high, leading to erosion and property damage.

How are residents reacting to the storm?

Many residents in New England, particularly in Maine, appear largely unconcerned and are comparing Storm Lee to the winter storms known as nor’easters.

What historical context is there for hurricanes in this region?

Destructive hurricanes are relatively rare in northern regions like New England and eastern Canada. However, past storms like the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 have caused significant damage.

Have there been any incidents or accidents related to the storm?

Two lobstermen, including Billy Bob Faulkingham, the House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature, survived after their boat capsized while pulling traps ahead of the storm.

More about Storm Lee

  • National Weather Service Advisories
  • Emergency Declarations for Massachusetts and Maine
  • Canadian Hurricane Centre Updates
  • Historical Context: Great New England Hurricane of 1938
  • Hurricane Irene 2011 Damage Report
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada Weather Forecasts
  • Power Outage Updates for Maine and Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization
  • Storm Lee Trajectory and Impact Analysis
  • Coastal Erosion and Storm Surge Predictions

You may also like

10 comments

TravelerJane September 16, 2023 - 2:45 pm

Had to cancel my trip to Bar Harbor this weekend. Guess the harbor’s looking like a ghost town anyway.

Reply
JohnDoe42 September 16, 2023 - 8:01 pm

Wow, this Storm Lee is no joke. Tens of thousands without power and it hasn’t even fully hit yet? Stay safe everyone.

Reply
EcoWarrior September 16, 2023 - 8:28 pm

Storms like these really make you think about climate change, huh? No storms this powerful in recent years and now this.

Reply
HistoryNerd September 16, 2023 - 10:56 pm

Great New England Hurricane of 1938, Irene in 2011, and now Lee. Doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s catastrophic.

Reply
WeatherBuff September 17, 2023 - 4:42 am

Interesting that residents are comparing this to nor’easters. Just shows how used to extreme weather some folks are.

Reply
Karen_from_MA September 17, 2023 - 5:34 am

states of emergency in Mass and Maine? thats scary stuff. hope everyone is taking precautions.

Reply
SafetyFirst September 17, 2023 - 8:06 am

“Nothing good can come from checking out the big waves and how strong the wind truly is.” Couldnt agree more. Stay home, people.

Reply
FishermanTim September 17, 2023 - 8:13 am

Pulling my traps was a pain, but better safe than sorry. Can’t risk losing ’em in this kinda storm.

Reply
LocalPolitico September 17, 2023 - 8:52 am

Props to Billy Bob Faulkingham and the other fisherman for surviving that ordeal. Tough folks up there in Maine.

Reply
CanadianProud September 17, 2023 - 8:56 am

Glad we’re on watch up here in New Brunswick. Hoping it’s not as bad as Fiona last year.

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News