A man was killed in Maine, USA, when a branch fell on his vehicle. The storm was downgraded to a hurricane.
Atlantic Storm Lee made landfall on Saturday with near hurricane force, bringing destructive winds, rough surf and torrential rain to the eastern U.S. New England state and the Maritimes from Canada. But authorities withdrew some warnings for the region on Saturday evening.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center ended its tropical storm warning for coastal Maine, while Environment Canada ended its tropical storm warning for New Brunswick.
A person was killed Saturday in Maine when a tree branch fell on their vehicle. The post-tropical cyclone also knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers.
The hurricane center reported Saturday evening that the storm was about 105 miles (170 kilometers) west of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and about 80 miles (125 kilometers) east of Eastport , in Maine. The maximum sustained wind speed had fallen to 60 mph (95 km/h).
The storm was moving at around 22 km/h and is expected to move northeast in the coming days, carrying the weather system across the Canadian Maritimes. Rainfall is expected to reach an additional 25 millimeters or less in parts of eastern Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the U.S. Storm Center said.
A tropical storm warning remained in effect for parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands.
Earlier Saturday, in Bar Harbor, Maine, the tourist gateway to Acadia National Park, a whale-watching vessel broke free from its mooring and crashed ashore. Authorities unloaded 6,813 liters of diesel fuel to prevent it from spilling into the ocean.
Lee flooded Nova Scotia’s coastal roads and knocked ferries out of service while stoking anxiety in a region still reeling from this summer’s wildfires and severe flooding. The province’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, has canceled all flights.
“People are exhausted,” said Halifax city councilor Pam Lovelace. “It’s so much in such a short time.”
Hurricane-force winds extended up to 220 kilometers from Lee’s center, while tropical storm-force winds extended up to 515 kilometers, enough to cover all of Maine and much of Canada’s Maritimes.
The storm was large and violent enough to cause power outages several hundred miles from its center. As of midday Saturday, 11% of electricity customers in Maine were without power, along with 27% in Nova Scotia, 8% in New Brunswick and 3% in Prince Edward Island.
Storm surges of up to 3 feet were expected along coastal areas, accompanied by large and destructive waves, the hurricane center said. Lee was forecast to drop up to 2.5 to 5 centimeters of rain in parts of eastern Maine and New Brunswick through Saturday evening, with a risk of local flooding.
A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, died after a large tree branch 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 branch brought down live power lines and utility workers had to turn off the power before the man could be evicted, Police Chief Brian Lunt said. The unidentified man later died at a hospital, Lunt said.