SANDWICH, Mass. (WWLP) - Hurricane specialists, meteorologists and hurricane hunters gathered on in Cape Cod Monday to spread the message that hurricanes can be very dangerous, even for western Massachusetts.
Direct hits from a hurricane in western Massachusetts are not very common, but they are possible. When a hurricane does hit, the damage could be immense. "A big hurricane comes inland on Long Island and into western Massachusetts at a high rate of speed. That's going to bring down a lot of trees, you're going to lose power, and it's going to take quite some time to put it together," National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said.
If a hurricane or tropical storm is heading for western Massachusetts, they will fly a hurricane hunter aircraft, right into the middle of it. From there, it will determine details about the storm so that they can better predict its path.
Even though we dodge most hurricanes in western Massachusetts, we're still at risk for damage.
"While most of our storms go over the southeast part of New England, that puts the northwest part of the storm in western New England; under the gun for severe flooding," said Glenn Field, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.
While flooding is very difficult to prepare for, there are some things you can do to prepare for the heavy rains that tropical weather is more likely to bring to western Massachusetts during hurricane season.
"Nobody ever looks at whether they're in a flood-prone area, and they don't even look at whether they need flood insurance. And so these are two things that are very easy to do now, before a hurricane comes, so that if you do happen to be susceptible to flooding, you're prepared," National Hurricane Center Hurricane Specialist Jamie Rhome said.
Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through the end of November.