Hurricane Lee: Effects On Rhode Island, New England as a Whole

by Shannon Kelly '26 on November 5, 2023
News Staff


Hurricane Lee has recently been on people’s radars in coastal New England. The storm was classified as a minimal Category One hurricane early Friday, Sept. 15. It was expected to be more like a nor’easter, with high winds and lots of potential rainfall. Maine and Massachusetts have been hit particularly hard by the storm. Meteorologists were surprised by the intensifying size of the storm, as it was supposed to hit only the New Brunswick province of Canada on Saturday, but the effects were still being felt in New England. People in New York, particularly on Long Island, felt the effects with high winds and powerful rainfall. 

Many people are accustomed to the effects of powerful storms in the New England area, however, that is not to say that it is a common occurrence. There has only been one hurricane that made landfall in New England in the last 30 years. There were tropical storm warnings sent out to millions of people when it got closer to Cape Cod. Cape Cod felt gusts of winds that ranged from 60-70 miles per hour. Residents had mixed reactions; some wanted to see this powerful force of nature while others chose to stay in their house to ensure their own safety. 

Boats were being taken out of the harbors on the coast of New England to best prepare for the storm. In Provincetown, the tip of Cape Cod, all flights were canceled at the local airport on Saturday, and sandbags were distributed to residents. In addition, ferry service from Cape Cod to Nantucket was out of operation. High tide was on everyone’s mind – a combination of flooding and high tides has proven to be deadly. It is a challenge to prepare for a hurricane, or any storm, as they can be extremely unpredictable. 

The effects of the storm were felt all around New England. People were buying extra food, pulling their boats out of the water, getting resources to prepare for possibly losing power, and other precautionary measures. The chances of a tree falling during a storm with heavy rainfall is also a valid concern. Rhode Island was largely spared, as the storm never hit the state harshly, though there was a great deal of rainfall and some flooding around the city of Providence. Storms often make residents realize that no one is ever really safe from powerful and oftentimes destructive weather and hurricanes like Lee.