Maine prepares as Hurricane Lee approaches
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
The governor of Maine has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Lee approaches the state. Much of Maine is under a tropical storm warning, and Lee is expected to bring high seas, heavy rain and strong winds. We're joined now by Maine Public reporter Kaitlyn Budion, who is in Bar Harbor. Hey there.
KAITLYN BUDION, BYLINE: Hi. Thanks for having me.
KELLY: How are things looking in Bar Harbor today?
BUDION: Well, strangely enough, it has been a beautiful day here in Bar Harbor. The sun has been out for most of the day with clear skies, but it has been unusually quiet for the town. To compare, when I was here in June, I was - came in on a cold and rainy Monday morning, and the town was still packed. So to see it this empty on such a nice day really speaks to the storm and the concerns about that. You know, there are cruise ships that were supposed to dock here this weekend that canceled. Looking out at the water, you can see that a lot of people have taken their boats out of the water. And even the few tourists that are here - I spoke with some folks at the visitor center in town who said that people have come there with concerns about if there will be flooding or impacts from the storm.
KELLY: Well, and I know from friends who live in Maine and who have complained all summer that it has been a - there's been a lot of rainy and cold days in Maine this year. Is that adding to concerns about possible flooding this weekend?
BUDION: Definitely. There have been several storms over the summer that caused flooding in different parts of Maine, and that has really resulted in very saturated ground that can't take a lot more water. Here in Bar Harbor, though, they're more concerned about the wind. The concern is that with the combination of the saturated ground and the high winds from the storm, it will make it a lot easier to knock trees over and then, in turn, knock down power lines. The fire chief here in Bar Harbor said there's only a few areas that are likely to flood, so he's really focused on the trees.
KELLY: So what's the official guidance? What are people being told to do to prepare?
BUDION: Much of it is the same advice that has been given for other storms - you know, to stay inside and prepare for power outages. Utilities here in Maine have been preparing with extra crews to respond to outages. And the fire chief here in Bar Harbor spoke to coordinating with his staff and creating checklists for each day, mostly telling people to really stay away from downed power lines and trees and to just be patient while officials work to respond to all the damage.
KELLY: While they clean up from whatever is coming. Real quick before I let you go, I want to ask about one other place because I know you're near Acadia National Park. What do preparations there look like?
BUDION: Yeah, so the park has gone ahead and closed campgrounds to make sure that nobody is staying out overnight with the storm coming in. And then certain areas where it's lower elevation, where there are concerns about flooding, have been closed as well. But like everybody else, they're kind of waiting to assess the damage afterwards.
KELLY: That is Maine Public's Kaitlyn Budion reporting today from Bar Harbor. Thanks so much.
BUDION: Thanks again for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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