A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, died after a large tree limb fell on his vehicle on Saturday – the first-known fatality from Tropical Storm Lee.
The unnamed man was driving on U.S. 1, which winds along Maine’s coast from Portland to the town of Calais on the Canadian border.
The accident happened 30 miles south of Bangor.
Brian Lunt, the Searsport police chief, said the tree limb that crushed the man’s car brought down live power lines, and utility workers had to cut power before the man could be removed.
The man died later at a hospital, Lunt said.
Raging surf hits Otter Point in Acadia National Park, near Searsport, Maine. A man was killed by a falling tree branch in Searsport on Saturday
Tropical Storm Lee is seen in satellite images over Maine on Saturday
After making landfall just below hurricane strength, the storm is to now turn northeast and move across Canada.
The National Hurricane Center predicted hurricane-force winds extending more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) from Lee´s center with lesser but still dangerous tropical storm-force gusts up to 345 miles (555 kilometers) miles outward.
The storm skirted some of the most waterlogged areas of Massachusetts that experienced days torrential rain earlier this week.
Drone footage captured after the storm passed over Long Island shows the devastation caused, with fixtures missing from homes and roads blocked with water.
This home on Tiana Beach has lost portions of the decking area surrounding the property, and the high tides has pushed the sand further up the beach
Water surges flooded large parts of this road in the Hamptons after surges of up to three feet hit the area
This image taken earlier today shows the extent of the storm which is now a Post-Tropical Cyclone
There were more than 100,000 people without power from Massachusetts to Maine early this morning.
The storm was so big that it was causing power outages several hundred miles from its center. About 25% of Nova Scotia lacked power around midday Saturday
There were reports of trees down in eastern Maine, according to Todd Foisy, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Utilities reported nearly 200,000 customers without power from Maine to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield International, had no incoming or outgoing flights scheduled Saturday.
Meanwhile Boston Logan International Airport had fourteen flights cancelled, with four delayed.
Images taken after the storm passed show tiles and fixtures ripped from waterfront homes after the storm passed through this morning.
‘We have a long way to go, and we´re already seeing downed trees and power outages,’ Foisy said earlier today.
The last update from forecasters said that the storm’s center was just off the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, about 105 miles southeast of Eastport, Maine.
It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving north at a fast clip of about 22 mph.
The storm was so big that it was causing power outages several hundred miles from its center
Utilities reported nearly 200,000 customers without power from Maine to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Large mounds of sand can be seen her forced onto the main road near the Shinnecock Inlet, in New York
The storm completely obliterated picket fences that lined the shores of Tiana Beach
Earlier this morning, the National Weather Service said that the storm had now transitioned to a Post-Tropical Cyclone with hurricane-force winds
Emergency lights remain on at a Circle K closed after Hurricane Lee was downgraded to a Post Tropical Storm and started to impact Shelburne, Nova Scotia
In anticipation of the storm’s impacts, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for Maine, providing federal assistance.
‘We encourage all of those in the path of this large and dangerous storm to remain alert,’ White Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a press briefing.
Forecasters have also warned that dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents will continue to affect the U.S. East Coast.
Intensity models indicate Lee should begin gradually weakening, although the maximum winds are likely to still be at or just below hurricane strength when its center reaches Nova Scotia.
Satellite images showed the monster scale of the slowly-advancing storm.
Videos emerged this morning on social media showing the devastating storm making landfall.
One video of Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, shows large waves crashing against the shoreline, hitting properties in the process.
Other videos show impressive waves beating Nauset Beach on Cape Cod earlier this morning.
Footage taken at the town of Marshfield earlier this morning shows large waves crashing against homes and cars.
Steve Makdessi is buffeted by the wind from what was formerly Hurricane Lee and is now a post-tropical cyclone on September 16 in Eastport, Maine
Charles Cantalupo is buffeted by the wind from what was formerly Hurricane Lee in Eastport, Maine
The last update from forecasters said that the storm’s center was just off the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, about 105 miles southeast of Eastport, Maine
On Friday night, National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Jamie Rhome said: ‘The story I want you to focus on is the size of this system.
‘To give you a reference it is bigger than the state of Maine, that’s how big it is.’
Long Islanders were making preparations on Friday, with workers at Billy Joel’s home putting sand bags around his Sag Harbor house.
The original building on the waterfront site was demolished in 2019, and a replacement home was built 30 feet above the previous home to combat potential sea rise.
Nantucket and Cape Cod were told on Friday night to brace for strong pre-dawn winds, with gusts of 55-65mph expected from 5am on Saturday until 11am.
Emergency services were warning people to be extremely wary of the coastlines, and avoid going to the sea unless extremely experienced.
New Englanders were also warned about potential power outages.
‘Please plan ahead to stay indoors if possible on Saturday and check on your loved ones and neighbors,’ said Michelle Wu, mayor of Boston.
The governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, joined Maine in declaring a state of emergency and asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue a pre-disaster emergency declaration
Sandbags are stacked in front of Billy Joel’s house in Sag Harbor, on Long Island
She also activated up to 50 National Guard members to help with storm preparations, including operating highwater vehicles to respond to flooded areas.
‘As we’ve seen in recent weeks, severe weather is not to be taken lightly. Flooding, wind damage, downed trees, tree limbs – all these things create real hazards and problems for people,’ Healey said.
In Canada, Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said Lee will not be anywhere near the severity of the remnants of Hurricane Fiona, which washed houses into the ocean, knocked out power to most of two provinces and swept a woman into the sea a year ago.
Vehicles navigate the causeway after Hurricane Lee was downgraded to a Post Tropical Storm and started to impact, in Lockeport, Nova Scotia, September 16
Webcams situated in Nova Scotia have already started picking up the inclement weather expected to batter the Canadian region later today
Waves crash in front of Minot lighthouse off the coast of Minot Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts
Kyle Leavitt, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization, urged residents to stay home.
‘Nothing good can come from checking out the big waves and how strong the wind truly is,’ he said.