Hurricane Maria- Could it Affect New England?


Emma Olsen, Contributor

This past week, Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic were ravaged by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 Hurricane with reported 115 mph winds. 100% of Puerto Rico is out of power, with historic cities like San Juan absolutely devastated. Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress said that “the entire island is without power”. The Dominican Republic is dealing with storm surges and almost all of the roofs on their housing structures have been ripped off by winds. The eastern Bahamian islands and Turks and Caicos are the next up in line to be hit by this terrifying storm.

But the one question that lingers in everyone’s mind is, will the US mainland be hit by this storm? More specifically, will New England? This week and the next few days bring weather that is affected by Hurricane Jose, now downgraded to a tropical storm, sitting off the east coast and causing low level flooding, rain and winds. Maria’s path depends on what Jose does. Hurricanes can be unpredictable, so meteorologists are not sure exactly what is going to happen. However, the current path of the storm could take it right up the east coast, and even if the storm has severely weakened by the time it reaches waters off the Cape, we would most likely have rain and storms as a result of the storm passing through New England waters, as well as rough surf off of the Cape. By the time it gets here, it would be a Category 1 or less and would only affect the coast, with central to eastern Massachusetts taking the least of the blow.

Another possibility is that Maria makes landfall on Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts, as well as the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If the Outer Banks gets hit first, then the blow to New England will not be as severe. There is a 20-25% chance of the hurricane making landfall, as reported by the Bangor Daily News. As reported by the Express Daily News, CBS Boston chief meteorologist Eric Fisher has warned that Hurricane Maria could now head to the US east coast and it could be a “close call” for us here in New England, so make sure that you’re tuned in to the news and safe in your homes if it is reported that Maria will make landfall here in Massachusetts.