Weekend’s Hurricane Noel Spares Northeast Coast Serious Damage

November 5, 2007

High wind and heavy surf hit parts of the Northeast U.S. coast as the remnants of Hurricane Noel blustered northeastward across the open Atlantic.

The wind and rain caused some coastal flooding, brought down tree limbs and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people Saturday, but spared the northeastern United States widespread damage.

Sustained winds of up to 50 mph (80 kph) along the New England coast were expected to die down by midnight. Most of Cape Cod and the Islands received between 1.5 and 2 inches (4 and 5 centimeters) of rain, with up to 3 inches (8 centimeters) in southern New Hampshire and Maine.

A 70 mph (113 kph) wind gust had been reported on Nantucket by late afternoon, and about 43,000 people had lost power around Cape Cod and the South Shore, said Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Other areas also had power outages.

High wind warnings were in effect for coastal Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey and the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island.

Several roads were closed because of downed tree limbs and flooding.

Noel has been blamed for at least 142 deaths in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Jamaica, making it the deadliest storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. thousands were homeless because of catastrophic flooding. Extensive damage was reported in Cuba.

Although the center of the storm was expected to pass about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Nantucket Saturday night, the high wind knocked down tree limbs and caused power outages.

Glenn Beasley, the executive director of the Cape Cod and Islands chapter of the American Red Cross, said several shelters were opened in the area.

“The good news is that we had warning and people anticipated the storm,” said Beasley.

The weather service also posted a winter storm watch for northwestern Maine, where rain was expected to change to snow during the night and produce varying accumulations of up to 11 inches (28 centimeters). Up to 16 inches (41 centimeters) could pile up in elevations above 2,000 feet (600 meters).

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