Sunday, 24 Sep 2023

Man killed by fallen tree as Storm Lee hits North America

A man has been killed and thousands have been left without power as Atlantic Storm Lee made landfall in North America.

The post-tropical cyclone landed about 135 miles west of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, yesterday with wind speeds of around 70mph – close to hurricane speeds.

A 51-year-old man died in Searsport, Maine after a large tree branch fell on his car on US Highway 1.

The branch brought down live power lines as it fell, and utility workers had to turn off the power before the man could be removed from his car.

Police chief Brian Lunt said the man died later in hospital.

All flights out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport were cancelled, and a number of roads were flooded.

Storm Lee headed north towards New Brunswick and the Gulf of St Lawrence, causing ferries to be cancelled.

Hurricane-force winds extended as far as 140 miles from Lee’s centre with tropical storm-force winds extending as far as 320 miles – enough to cover all of Maine and much of Maritime Canada with power outages covering several hundred miles.

At noon on 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.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect from Stonington, Maine, north to the US-Canada border.

Lee shares some characteristics with 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.

Both were once-strong hurricanes that became post-tropical cyclones – cyclonic storms that have lost most of their tropical characteristics – before landfall.

Lee is not expected to be nearly as destructive as Sandy, which caused billions of dollars in damage and was blamed for dozens of deaths in New York and New Jersey.

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