Later this week, Hurricane Lee is expected to impact several New England states, including many areas of Maine. Students of the University of Maine should anticipate strong winds, power outages and possible flooding.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Lee is set to impact much of the state including the Orono area. By the time it reaches Orono, it will have been growing for around four to five days and will have reached its pinnacle size. Students living in the Orono area should expect extreme winds with a maximum of 70 to 100 miles per hour.
The University has advised residents to prepare themselves well in the event of an emergency. Below is an expansion of those imperative measures.
The first tip UMaine offers is to ensure that in the case of an emergency, each student has a reliable location they can seek shelter in. The qualities of adequate shelter is somewhere you can be warm, dry and have access to clean food and water. Additionally the risk of flooding with heavy rain makes selecting a shelter that is not at risk of flooding.
UMaine suggests you have adequate supplies to last for at least two days. Food, potable water, a light source, warm blankets and all your favorite textbooks will be necessary to weather the storm in the event of power outages and severe flooding.
The university also strongly advises everyone to remain indoors in the event of severe weather. The possibility of hurricane weather has been significantly diminished, making the potential for even tropical storm winds less likely in the area. Here in Maine, there is a much greater risk of power outages, washouts, and falling trees even with less powerful gusts. If travel is necessary, stay vigilant for downed power lines, collapsed trees and washed out roads. All these conditions can make travel extremely dangerous for everyone, including emergency crews.
After speaking to Dr. Samuel Roy, Natural Hazards Planner for the Maine Emergency Management Agency, it was pointed out that with a storm such as Hurricane Lee many factors can be unpredictable. Roy stated that Lee was of an exceptional size, though its trajectory seems to be inconsistent. Roy assured that Orono will be exposed to fewer hazards, though high winds may still cause outages.
Even in the event of outages, with temperatures being as high as they are, there is less concern about losing sources of heat during the storm. It’s important to follow alerts as the storm continues to develop on your phone or the radio where you can tune in to state and national weather service updates. Dr. Roy provided a map tool, which those living on the coast can reference to identify their evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
The university also strongly advises everyone to remain indoors in the event of severe weather. The possibility of hurricane weather makes it important for students to remain stationary. Here in Maine there is a much greater risk of power outages, washouts, and falling trees. If travel is necessary, stay vigilant for downed power lines, collapsed trees, and washed out roads. All these conditions can make travel extremely dangerous for everyone, including emergency crews.
Though Maine residents frequently experience peaceful weather seasons, it is important not to underestimate the potential devastation that heavy winds could bring to Maine. Both windstorms and blizzards are capable of impacting travel and living in this state. The majority of our power lines are directly adjacent to dense forests, meaning the possibility of sweeping power outages should not be ignored.
Those who live near a body of water should anticipate heavy rain and plan for flooding. Commuter students should avoid traveling on poorly maintained roads. Extreme weather conditions pose significantly more of a threat to those unprepared to act in the event of an emergency. Be safe out there, Black Bears.