CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts is expected to have no major impacts from Hurricane Lee on Saturday however, it will be breezy with winds out of the northwest at 10-20 mph and wind gusts between 25-45 mph at times.
The chance for any rain would be in eastern Massachusetts near the coast. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Cape Cod as Hurricane Lee is expected to bring wind with gusts as high as 50 – 60 mph, rain, and coastal floods Friday night into Saturday. The most significant coastal flooding is expected northern shoreline of Cape Cod and Nantucket.
Track Hurricane Lee
Several organizations are staging in Massachusetts to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Lee.
Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is the staging area for equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for relief operations. Nearly 40 tractor-trailers are arriving at the base Thursday with water, tarps, food and other emergency supplies.
“FEMA staging here for possible relief operation underscores the versatility and viability of Westover Air Reserve Base,” said Robert Perreault, 439th Airlift Wing Emergency Management Director. “We have a long and successful history of partnering with the agency for weather-related events, and we are proud to be instrumental a collaborative approach for post-storm operations.”
Eversource is monitoring the track for Hurricane Lee and its potential impact on the electric system. Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom is holding a briefing to discuss the preparations ahead of the storm. Watch live at 2 p.m. on Facebook.
National Grid is preparing for Hurricane Lee with more than 500 field-based crews and over 3,300 personnel as part of the company’s emergency response operations and preparedness activities.
“We have been closely monitoring Hurricane Lee for several days. While forecasts are still shifting for this hurricane, National Grid’s objective is to plan for the worst-case scenario while hoping for the best,” said Tim Moore, Vice President of Electric Operations for New England. “We have secured additional crews and personnel who will be in place by Friday night along the coast and across Massachusetts ready to respond in the case of a multi-day event.”
The American Red Cross in Massachusetts along with other parts of New England are preparing to help families that may be impacted by Hurricane Lee. Pre-positioned blood products are in the region in advance of the storm and the Red Cross stands ready to provide additional blood products if hospitals need support.
Volunteers have already been helping families forced from their homes by flash flooding on Monday, including supporting shelters in Leominster, North Attleboro, and North Andover.
“With Massachusetts under a state of emergency due to flooding damage, the last thing we need is more rain,” said Holly Grant, CEO of the Red Cross of Massachusetts. “But I am so proud of the hundreds of volunteers and staff who have stepped up to offer support to help their neighbors in need, even as they contend with damage to their own homes and properties.”
The Red Cross is reminding residents to have an evacuation plan and an emergency kit including supplies like food, water, a flashlight, and radio.
Gulf Search and Rescue
Gulf Search and Rescue (GulfSAR), a non-profit organization in Texas sent a team to Massachusetts for evacuation efforts and to stage for immediate flood and water rescues as Hurricane Lee’s path moves along the East Coast. The volunteer group specializes in saving those who cannot save themselves. They help in locating people, pets, and livestock during disasters.
Check your homeowners insurance, most do not cover flooding from hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains, and other conditions. For more information on flood insurance, visit the National Flood Insurance Program website.
Stay informed as the 22News Storm Team continues to track the local impacts of Hurricane Lee.
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