BOSTON – Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency on Thursday, ahead of Hurricane Lee, which is expected to bring heavy winds, rain, and coastal flooding to southern New England this weekend.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an advisory for Worcester County. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect in Barnstable MA, Dukes MA, Eastern Essex MA, Eastern Norfolk MA, Eastern Plymouth MA, Nantucket MA, Southern Bristol MA, Southern Plymouth MA, Suffolk MA, and Western Plymouth MA. Coastal area are expected to be most effected by the storm.
Healey also appealed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a Pre-Disaster Emergency Declaration. This would make the state eligible for Direct Federal Assistance to cover the costs of emergency response measures such as personnel, equipment, supplies, and evacuation assistance.
The governor also called up 50 members of the National Guard to provide assistance. They will operate high-water vehicles among other duties.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) advises residents and visitors to learn about local evacuation zones at the Mass.gov website. Residents are encouraged to compile an emergency kit, prepare for power outages, and enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on their mobile devices.
“I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure quick mobilization of resources. I am also urging FEMA to issue a Stafford Act declaration to facilitate community recovery,” said Governor Healey.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been announced for the entire Massachusetts coastline, including the Cape and Islands. The area is at the highest risk for tropical storm force winds, particularly Cape Cod and the Islands, where gusts could reach between 50-60 mph. Fallen trees and power outages are anticipated. The northern shores of Cape Cod and Nantucket are expected to experience the most severe coastal flooding, particularly during Saturday’s early morning high tide. Rainfall between 1-3 inches is forecasted for Cape Cod and the Islands from Friday night into Saturday.