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Power outage, one death as post-tropical cyclone Lee batters the US and Canada

As post-tropical cyclone Lee sweeps through the western part of Nova Scotia, tens of thousands of people are grappling with power outages and facing the consequences of the storm’s wrath.

With hurricane-force winds that have surged across coastal Maine and Atlantic Canada, the storm has become a force to be reckoned with, leading to multiple devastating incidents.

The cyclone’s northeastward trajectory is expected to accelerate in the coming days, with forecasts indicating that Lee will traverse Newfoundland by this afternoon and journey into the vast Atlantic by early Monday. Current readings from the U.S National Hurricane Center pinpoint Lee’s speed at approximately 22 mph (35 km/h) towards the northeast.

The rainfall forecast from the National Hurricane Center isn’t promising for eastern parts of Canada’s New Brunswick province either, expecting an additional inch (25 mm) or less. This past Saturday, New Brunswick was already feeling the storm’s impacts, with downed trees and severed power lines leaving 20,000 residents without electricity.

Post-tropical cyclone Lee pummels Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, on the other hand, has seen a staggering 120,000 customers without power. The Canadian Hurricane Center‘s forecast paints a grim picture for the region, warning of sustained impacts from post-tropical cyclone Lee, including continuous rain or showers, gusty winds, and towering waves along the Atlantic coastline.

Maritime transportation in Nova Scotia has been severely disrupted, with ferries suspending operations and Halifax Stanfield International Airport cancelling flights.

Addressing the challenges posed by the storm, Senior Manager of Energy Delivery at Nova Scotia Power, Matt Drover, expressed concerns over deteriorating conditions. “While our crews have managed to restore power in some parts,” he said, “the worsening weather, especially with winds exceeding 80 km/h (49.7 mph), means our teams are often facing unsafe conditions.”

Recent memory of severe flooding that afflicted the province this summer adds to the current woes. With rainfall reaching up to 250 millimeters (10 inches) in certain regions, the resultant damage was extensive.

Six bridges were obliterated, 19 suffered damages, and over 50 roads faced significant impairment. Pam Lovelace, a Halifax councilor, commented on the province’s hardships, saying, “People are exhausted. … It’s so much in such a small time period.”

Conditions in Maine

In a distressing incident further south in Maine, a whale watch boat was torn from its mooring, subsequently crashing onto the shore near Bar Harbor – a key gateway to Acadia National Park. To prevent an environmental catastrophe, officials had to hurriedly remove 1,800 gallons of diesel from the vessel.

Adding to post-tropical cyclone Lee’s grim tally was its first fatality on U.S Highway 1 in Searsport, where a 51-year-old man met a tragic end. A massive tree limb, brought down by the storm’s fierce winds, crashed onto his vehicle.

Police Chief Brian Lunt narrated the tragic series of events, revealing that live power wires were also dragged down by the falling branch. Before any rescue attempts could be made, utility personnel had to switch off the power. Sadly, the individual succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital.

As Lee continues its path, residents are urged to stay vigilant and prioritize safety in these trying times.

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