NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — While Hurricane Lee is not expected to make landfall locally, a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for parts of Southeast Massachusetts, including New Bedford.
The city is preparing for strong winds, expected to hit the city on Friday night and Saturday. Heavy rains could also cause some flooding in low-lying areas.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said Padanaram Avenue is the city’s lowest point where they’ll be watching for flooding.
The city said while Buzzards Bay is not anticipated to experience a significant storm surge, residents have been advised to look out for possible rip currents and heavy surf.
“We also have the street gates that we will close if we think there’s going to be some flooding on the streets,” Mitchell said. “It’s not shaping up that way, if that changes then we’ll certainly let people know.”
City beaches, the CoveWalk, HarborWalk, Fort Taber Park and all city boat ramps will be closed starting at 8 p.m. on Friday and will not re-open until further notice.
According to the city, police will be making regular patrols of city beaches and other closed locations to remove people from those areas.
“People should not be anywhere near the water,” Mitchell said. “And we’ll be keeping a close eye on that.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may close New Bedford’s hurricane barrier depending on the tide. The city said all vessel owners should “make arrangements for berthing or hauling in the
harbor as far in advance of the arrival of storm conditions as possible.”
Andrew Spalt is a fisherman based out of New Bedford. He said on Saturday, he’ll be staying on land.
“We’re pretty much as prepared as we’re gonna be,” Spalt said. “The only thing that we might do is add some lines to the boat to make sure it’s extra secure, and Saturday morning come down and check it and make sure everything’s good.”
Buttonwood Park Zoo will also be closed on Saturday, along with the New Bedford Recycling Center.
The New Bedford Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival has been postponed to October 28.
The New Bedford Regional Airport will remain open as long as it is safe to do so. According to the city, passengers should confirm their flight status with their air carriers.
Mitchell advised residents and business owners to review their “Hurricane Preparedness Checklist.”
The city also wants residents to know what emergency numbers to call:
- Call 9-1-1 to report a downed powerline.
- To report a power outage, call Eversource at 1-800-592-2000.
- New Bedford police’s non-emergency line is (508) 991-6350.
“It’s not a close call, but people should still take it seriously,” Mitchell added.