Hurricane Lee Threatens Northeast and Coastal Canada
Hurricane Lee, though uncertain in strength at landfall, poses a threat to the Northeastern United States and coastal Canada. The storm is expected to bring dangerous rip currents, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge. As the storm approaches, it is important for residents and authorities to be prepared and take necessary precautions.
The National Hurricane Center warns of potential hurricane conditions in southern New Brunswick and much of Nova Scotia, as well as tropical storm conditions and coastal flooding in southern New England. Downed trees and power outages are anticipated, and heavy rainfall could lead to localized urban and small stream flooding in eastern Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The storm surge, coupled with high tide, could result in inundation of typically dry coastal areas.
Dangers of Rip Currents
One of the most significant concerns associated with Hurricane Lee is the occurrence of rip currents along the entire coast. Swells generated by the storm can cause life-threatening surf and deadly rip currents. It is important for beachgoers to be aware of the danger and exercise caution. Rip currents, narrow and powerful currents that flow quickly away from the shore, can sweep individuals off their feet and carry them away from the shoreline. These currents can be faster than any Olympic swimmer, and their power should not be underestimated.
Understanding Rip Currents
Rip currents differ from riptides and undertows, as they flow out rather than under the surface. They occur due to a break in the flow of water back out to sea, often caused by a low spot in the ocean floor or a break in a sandbar. These currents are typically no wider than 80 feet and travel at speeds of 1 to 2 feet per second. However, in some cases, they have been recorded moving at speeds of up to 8 feet per second. Swimmers and waders should be cautious and avoid areas where rip currents are present.
Coastal Flooding and Storm Surge
In addition to rip currents, Hurricane Lee brings the risk of storm surge, particularly along the immediate coast. Storm surge occurs when rising waters move inland from the shoreline, often accompanying a combination of storm surge and tides. Areas where the highest winds occur are likely to experience coastal flooding, with the surge height varying over short distances. The hurricane center warns of dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves in Atlantic Canada.
Preparations and Recommendations
Given the potential impacts of Hurricane Lee, it is crucial for residents in the affected areas to take necessary precautions. Here are some recommendations to consider:
1. Stay informed: Follow updates from the National Hurricane Center and local authorities to stay up to date on the storm’s path and predicted impacts.
2. Evacuation plans: If advised or mandatory evacuation orders are issued, follow the instructions and evacuate to safe locations.
3. Secure outdoor items: Secure loose items such as patio furniture, trash cans, and garden tools to prevent them from becoming projectiles in high winds.
4. Prepare emergency supplies: Create an emergency kit with essential items such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit. Be prepared for potential power outages and stock up on necessary medications.
5. Evacuation plan for pets: Develop a plan for your pets in case of evacuation. Ensure you have necessary supplies, such as food, water, and medications, for them as well.
6. Heed warnings and advisories: Follow the guidance of local authorities and emergency management agencies. If advised to evacuate or take specific precautions, do so promptly.
7. Avoid venturing into floodwaters: Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters, as they may be deeper and more hazardous than they appear.
As Hurricane Lee approaches, it is essential for individuals, communities, and authorities to remain vigilant and prepared. By taking necessary precautions and heeding warnings, the potential risks and damages associated with the storm can be minimized. Stay safe and stay informed.
<< photo by Matt Mutlu >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.