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Saturday, June 15, 2024

1 dead in Maine after Lee brought strong winds, heavy rain to parts of New England

At least one person has been confirmed dead afterLeebrought strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm surge to parts of New England and southeastern Canada this weekend when it made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone.

Lee made landfall on Saturday in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia with powerful winds approaching hurricane strength, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. The storm arrived on shore with maximum sustained wind speeds of 70 miles per hour, meteorologists said at the time. That was just a few miles short of the threshold necessary for a tropical storm to be considered a Category 1 hurricane, which is assigned when maximum sustained winds reach 75 mph.

A 51-year-old man died Saturday in Searsport, Maine, a coastal town and seaport about 50 miles from Bar Harbor, after a large tree limb fell on his vehicle and brought down power lines with it, CBS affiliateWABI-TVand the Associated Press reported, citing Searsport police. CBS News independently confirmed one fatality through the police dispatch Saturday, although they would not provide details as to how it occurred.

According WABI, the incident happened while the man was driving along Route 1 near Prospect Street at around 9 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, which coincided with strong winds that ripped through the area with Lee’s arrival. Emergency personnel who responded to the scene had to wait for crews from Central Maine Power to cut electricity to the downed lines before they could remove the man from his car, according to the station and the Associated Press. Authorities have not publicly identified the man, who died after being transported to a local hospital.

CBS News contacted the Searsport Public Safety Department on Sunday for more information about the death but did not receive an immediate reply.

Maine State Police urged people to “stay vigilant” while driving on Saturday, warning about the possibility of falling trees and debris caused by Lee’s winds in a Facebook post. The post included an image of a shattered van windshield that part of a tree had crashed through, which belonged to a man from Ohio who was driving south on Route 11 in Moro Plantation when he “he observed a large tree that was falling into the roadway,” the state police force said. The top of the tree went through the windshield, with the impact causing a section of it to break off inside the van. The driver sustained minor cuts in the incident, and five other passengers inside the van were not injured.

Lee intensified quickly as it tracked northward through the Atlantic Ocean last week, growing into a Category 5 hurricane before its wind speeds gradually declined over the course of the week. Although the storm did not make landfall until Saturday, it caused life-threatening surf and rip current conditions for days along a wide section of the U.S. East Coast. Various storm watches and warnings were in effect for coastal parts of Maine, New Hampshire and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as the storm moved in on Nova Scotia. A tropical storm warning for Maine was canceled by Saturday night.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds had decreased further by Sunday morning to 44 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. In a bulletin issued at 8 a.m. ET, meteorologists said that Lee was expected to pick up speed as it tracked northeast over the next several days, reaching Newfoundland by Sunday afternoon and Atlantic waters by Monday morning.

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