By ROBERT F. BUKATY and DAVID SHARP (Associated Press)
BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Atlantic storm Lee pummeled a large swath of New England and Maritime Canada with destructive winds, rough surf and torrential rains that toppled trees, flooded roadways and cut power to tens of thousands on Saturday. One person was killed in Maine when a tree limb fell on his vehicle.
The center of the sprawling post-tropical cyclone made landfall about 135 miles (215 kilometers) west of Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. That’s about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Eastport, Maine. It had near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph (110 kph), though the storm was weakening as it headed north to New Brunswick and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Lee flooded coastal roads in Nova Scotia and took ferries out of service as it fanned anxiety in a region still reeling from wildfires and severe flooding this summer. The province’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield International, cancelled all flights.
“People are exhausted. … It’s so much in such a small time period,” said Pam Lovelace, a councilor in Halifax.
The storm was so big that it caused power outages several hundred miles from its center. At midday Saturday, 11% of electricity customers in Maine lacked power, along with 27% of Nova Scotia, 8% of New Brunswick and 3% of Prince Edward Island.
Hurricane-force winds extended as far as 140 miles (220 kilometers) from Lee’s center, with tropical storm-force winds extending as far as 320 miles (515 kilometers) — enough to cover all of Maine and much of Maritime Canada.
In the United States, a tropical storm warning remained in effect from Stonington, Maine, north to the U.S.-Canada border.
That included Bar Harbor, the touristy gateway to Acadia National Park, where a whale watch vessel broke free of its mooring and crashed ashore. Authorities worked to offload 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel to prevent it from spilling into the ocean.
A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, died after a large tree limb fell on his vehicle Saturday on U.S. Highway 1 during a period of high winds, the first fatality attributed to the storm.
The tree limb brought down live power lines, and utility workers had to cut power before the man could be removed, said Police Chief Brian Lunt. The unidentified man died later at a hospital, Lunt said.
Storm surge of up to 3 feet (0.91 meters) was expected along coastal areas, accompanied by large and destructive waves, the hurricane center said.
The storm skirted some of the most waterlogged areas of Massachusetts that experienced severe flash flooding days earlier, when fast water washed out roads, caused sinkholes, damaged homes and flooded vehicles.
In eastern Maine, winds died down enough by late afternoon for utility workers to begin using their bucket trucks to make repairs. Both Central Maine Power and Versant Power had hundreds of workers, including out-of-state crews, to assist in the effort.
“At this point, the storm is resembling a nor’easter,” said Sarah Thunberg, a National Weather Service meteorologist, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment