Hurricane Lee will sideswipe Boston. Here's what to expect Friday and Saturday

This satellite image provided Friday morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via AP)
This satellite image provided Friday morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via AP)

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You’ve been hearing about Hurricane Lee all week, but today is the day Massachusetts will finally start seeing its impacts.

Moving about as fast as a Green Line trolley, the weakening Category 1 hurricane is expected to stay 150 miles off our coast, headed toward Nova Scotia after yesterday’s eastward turn. However, New England will likely still get sideswiped by its strong winds and waves. Tropical storm warnings are now in effect for all of coastal Massachusetts.

Here’s what that means for the Boston area:

Though the worst impacts of Lee are likely to miss Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu told reporters yesterday that “conditions are still anticipated to be similar to that of a nor’easter.” No, there won’t be any snow, but city officials are bracing for 1-4 inches of rain, winds of up to 30 mph and minor flooding in low-lying areas.

  • When: The rain and wind will arrive late tonight and continue through Saturday. The worst of it will likely be in the wee hours of Saturday morning. (Most of today will actually be pretty nice.) So, there are no schedule changes for Boston Public Schools today.
  • Click here for the “cone of uncertainty” map showing Lee’s projected path and timeline.
  • Where: Officials are keeping an eye on flood-prone areas, like Dorchester’s Morrissey Boulevard, East Boston’s Lewis Mall and Long Wharf. The NOAA forecasts a storm surge of 1-3 feet along Boston Harbor. The good news: the peak storm surge is likely to coincide with low tide, around 6 a.m. Saturday. Still, there could be some minor flooding later in the day.
  • What to do: The City of Boston released a long list of precautions to take ahead of the storm — and stressed a few particular tips.
  • Call 911 if you see a downed wire. (Don’t touch it!)
  • Call 311 if you see a downed tree on a street or sidewalk (but not if it’s on private property; that’s not the city’s problem).
  • Do your part to prevent flooding by keeping sewer grates clear if you see them getting clogged.
  • Zoom out: Meteorologist Danielle Noyes says the storm will feel very different depending where you are. For more inland parts of the state, it will be like a “showery, raw Saturday for maybe a brief time,” she told WBUR’s Morning Edition. But the wind and rain will be more powerful closer to the coast. The Outer Cape and Nantucket could see wind gusts up to 55-65 mph and 10-15 foot waves, making beach erosion a concern, according to Noyes.
  • Go deeper: Read more here about the forecast for Massachusetts and the overall outlook for New England and Canada.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announced plans yesterday to build its own cancer hospital in Boston’s Longwood medical area. And as WBUR’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports, it’s doing so with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, dropping its longstanding partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

  • What does that mean for patients? Currently, Dana-Farber only offers outpatient treatment, like chemotherapy. But when patients need to be admitted for surgery, they go across the hospital’s bridge to neighboring Brigham and Women’s. Dana-Farber’s chief executive, Dr. Laurie Glimcher, says she wants this to change. “A brand new cancer center that we are controlling will allow us to give them the very best patient care,” she told Priyanka.
  • “Surprising and disappointing”: Leaders of Brigham’s parent organization, Mass General Brigham, were reportedly stunned by the move. (Cancer surgeries account for 40% of all surgeries at the Brigham.) Priyanka has more details about the business impacts here.
  • What’s next: The plans are subject to state approval. While that process and construction plays out, Dana Farber will keep using the Brigham for inpatient care for at least the next five years.

Today is the first day of The Big E, and it seems like Springfield shouldn’t feel Lee’s wrath too much over the weekend. The fair will run the next two weeks through Oct. 1, showcasing — as always — a deep menu of over-the-top food. So, if you go, bring your appetite.

Heads up: The Sumner Tunnel is closing again tonight at 11 p.m. — the first of seven weekend closures planned through mid-November. It will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.

P.S.— Think you know Boston’s neighborhoods? Which one was created by connecting five Boston Harbor islands with landfill? Take this week’s special edition of the Boston News Quiz to test your knowledge.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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