MDI prepares for tropical storm approach



BAR HARBOR — A tropical storm warning is in effect for coastal Hancock and Washington Counties as Hurricane Dorian moves up the Atlantic coast. Residents and businesses are preparing for high winds, 20-30 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 mph, and high surf. A 5 p.m. statement from the National Weather Service (NWS) said storm surge flooding is not expected to be severe, with predicted rainfall of about one inch, “except for minor splashover around Saturday evening’s high tide.”

Saturday’s high tides in Bar Harbor are 6:10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

“Hurricane Dorian will pass south of the Gulf of Maine on Saturday morning and move quickly to the northeast reaching Nova Scotia by the afternoon,” the NWS Hazardous Weather Outlook statement said. “Strong winds and high surf will be the biggest impact from the storm. The most likely timeframe for the strong winds will be by daybreak on Saturday through the late afternoon hours. The winds will begin to diminish by the evening.”

As of Friday afternoon, two of the three cruise ships that had been scheduled to stop in Bar Harbor Saturday had announced cancellations, and one of the ships scheduled for Sunday had cancelled. The schooner Margaret Todd will not be sailing and kayak tours have been cancelled. College of the Atlantic’s offshore research station at Mount Desert Rock was evacuated Friday.

Acadia National Park officials said the stairways to the shore at Thunder Hole will be closed beginning Friday evening. On the Schoodic Peninsula, “the gate from the Schoodic Institute campus south will be closed if conditions warrant,” park spokesman John Kelly said. “We’ll have warning signs posted and we’ll also have uniformed rangers at both Schoodic Point and Ocean Drive.”

A high surf advisory is also in effect. “Large, 6- to 10-foot waves can present a danger to people on rocks above the water,” the NWS advisory reads. “Stay away from rock outcrops along the shoreline exposed to ocean waves … as waves can easily sweep people into the cold ocean water.”

In 2009, a 7-year-old girl was killed and a dozen people were injured when they were swept off the rocks by waves on Ocean Drive in the aftermath of Hurricane Bill.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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