Hurricane Lee has claimed two victims in the United States so far: a 51-year-old man who was killed by a falling tree branch in Maine on Saturday and a teenager who drowned off Florida earlier this week, according to reports .
The Maine resident was driving west on Route 1 near Prospect Street in Searsport when the limb slammed into his vehicle around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Searsport Public Safety Director Brian Lunt told News Center Maine.
When police arrived at the scene, they found that a large branch had partially fallen on the roof of the car, Lunt said.
First responders attempted to pull the man out, but their efforts were hampered by an electrical wire that the branch had also knocked over as it fell.
Central Maine Power turned off the power and crews were able to get him out of the vehicle, Lunt said.
Satellite image showing Post-Tropical Cyclone Lee hitting Maine and parts of New England as the weakened storm prepares to make landfall in Nova Scotia on September 16, 2023.ZUMAPRESS.com
The man was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His identity is being withheld until family is notified, authorities said.
Florida authorities said they found the body of a 15-year-old boy who disappeared under heavy surf after falling into the water Wednesday.
The Fernandina Beach Police Department told FoxWeather that the teen was with two other people when he fell off a raft. The other two were helped back to shore and taken to a local medical center while multiple agencies searched for the missing child.
The group decided to head into the ocean despite multiple signs and red flags warning of dangerous conditions.
Lee’s effects were felt across the East Coast as the storm moved north before making landfall on Saturday.
“We have had extremely dangerous rip currents as predicted by the weather service and we believe the extreme conditions are associated with Hurricane Lee and other storms in the Atlantic,” Fernandina Beach Fire Chief Ty Silcox told the outlet.
The post-tropical cyclone made its first official landfall on Long Island, Nova Scotia, with damaging 70 mph winds that left nearly 300,000 customers in the United States and Canada without power, according to FoxWeather.
Some gusts were still exceeding 90 miles per hour Saturday afternoon.
The storm caused dangerous surf conditions, including massive waves and rip currents, along the East Coast.Getty Images
Conditions along the East Coast began to worsen Friday night, with massive waves and rip currents in the Mid-Atlantic. The impact was felt from New Hampshire to Canada on Saturday night as the storm spread for nearly 400 miles.
The governors of Massachusetts and Maine declared states of emergency ahead of the storm and activated members of the National Guard for an emergency response.
The storm is forecast to cross the Bay of Fundy toward New Brunswick and make landfall again near the coastal city of St. John.
The latest deaths bring the total number of deaths in the United States to 77 due to events such as strong currents, strong surf and rip currents this year, according to a NOAA database.