Hurricane Lee was heading toward Nova Scotia Friday evening, upsetting the ocean around Long Island and triggering storm surge warnings across New England.
As of 5 p.m. ET, the storm was 290 miles southeast of Nantucket, with maximum winds of 80 mph.
The size of the Category 1 storm was more concerning than its strength: Tropical-force winds were felt across a 345-mile-long area.
Satellite images showed the monstrous scale of the slowly advancing storm.
Lee is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia early Saturday evening and bypass the United States – with Maine’s governor lifting its hurricane warning and replacing it with a tropical storm warning.
Strong waves hit the shoreline of Nauset Beach in East Orleans, Cape Cod, Friday
A brave surfer rides the monster waves at Horseneck Beach in Westport, Massachusetts, on Friday.
Sandbags are piled in front of Billy Joel’s house in Sag Harbor, Long Island
Workers have been sanding the singer’s house since Friday morning in anticipation of the storm.
Satellite images shared on Friday show the extent of the storm
The hurricane warning was the first issued since 2008, for Hurricane Kyle, which bypassed eastern Maine.
The last hurricane to make landfall in Maine was Hurricane Gerda, which hit Eastport in 1969.
However, a tropical storm warning remained in effect for the state and coastal areas were already beginning Friday evening to see strong waves and experience strong winds.
Long Islanders were preparing, with workers at Billy Joel’s home placing sandbags around his Sag Harbor home.
The original building on the waterfront site was demolished in 2019 and a replacement house was built 30 feet above the previous house to combat possible sea rise.
Nantucket and Cape Cod were advised Friday evening to prepare for strong winds before dawn, with gusts of 55 to 65 mph expected from 5 a.m. Saturday until 11 a.m.
Videos and photos shared by the Nantucket Current website showed strong swells at Madequecham Beach – with a few hardy surfers enjoying the waves.
Emergency services have warned people to be extremely careful around coastlines and avoid going into the sea unless they are extremely experienced.
Several people are pictured Friday in East Hampton, watching the waves come in
Red flags fly over Jones Beach on Long Island, New York
Waves crash against the seawall in the Sand Hills district of Scituate, south of Boston, Massachusetts
New England residents were also warned of possible power outages.
“Please plan ahead to stay indoors if possible on Saturday and check on your loved ones and neighbors,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey joined Maine in declaring a state of emergency and asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue an emergency declaration in advance of the disaster.
She also activated up to 50 National Guard members to assist with storm preparations, including operating high-water vehicles to respond to flooded areas.
The storm’s arrival was expected just days after heavy flooding and tornadoes in New England.
“As we have seen in recent weeks, bad weather should not be taken lightly. Flooding, wind damage, downed trees, tree limbs – all of that creates real dangers and problems for people,” Healey said.
Waves crash in front of the Minot Lighthouse off Minot Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts
Nantucket was warned they would bear the brunt of the winds, with a peak expected between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
In Canada, Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Hurricane Center, said Lee would be no match for the remnants of Hurricane Fiona, which swept away homes in the ocean and cut off electricity in most of both countries. provinces and took a woman to the sea a year ago.
But it was still a dangerous storm.
Kyle Leavitt, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization, urged residents to stay home.
“Nothing good can come from observing the big waves and the real force of the wind,” he said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened the incident response group, which meets only to discuss events with major implications for Canada.
Made up of ministers and senior officials, it had previously been convened for events such as the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and this year’s record wildfire season.