Ellsworth campground makes sign for meteorologist ahead of Hurricane Lee

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - While one Downeast campground is taking the threat from Hurricane Lee seriously, they’re finding a silver lining in the storm with a unique approach to preparations.

“Never dealt with [a hurricane] before, so we’re just kind of going step by step and see what happens. Hopefully shouldn’t be too bad, so just play it day by day,” said Nate Dyer, co-owner, Forest Ridge Campground.

Dyer and his parents own Forest Ridge Campground in Ellsworth.

They’re busy preparing as Hurricane Lee approaches.

“Take care of everything that can blow away, put your awnings in, all lawn furniture, picnic tables, all that stuff,” he said.

There was one other task on Dyer’s to-do list.

“I got a call from my dad a couple days ago. He asked me to change the sign to something hurricane related. So, I just kind of thought around and that’s what popped in my head,” he said. “It’s not a real hurricane unless Jim Cantore shows up.”

Hurricanes bring a few things: wind, rain, and sometimes The Weather Channel’s legendary meteorologist, Jim Cantore.

“I love it. The first thing anybody thinks of with a hurricane is Jim Cantore. At least we do from Florida, for sure. And I think Nate did a great job with what he put up,” said camper LA Bykowsky.

This is Bykowsky’s 10th season camping at Forest Ridge. The Floridian is used to dealing with hurricanes, but the one headed for Maine is an unusual experience, even for her.

“I’m always attuned to the hurricane season, and I actually have a ritual where I go up on top of either Cadillac or Blue Hill mountain and I do a hurricane dance to ward it away from home. And so about 10 days ago, I was up there making sure Lee did not go towards Florida, and I did a pretty good job, and I kept on telling it to go east,” Bykowsky said. “So, I’m still hoping to keep it away from us here in Maine.”

While Bykowsky does her best to influence the weather, Cantore is busy forecasting.

But as of Thursday evening, there was no sign of him in Maine just yet.

“You know, usually you see him for any hurricane going to Florida or anywhere in the Gulf. And if they’re saying there’s gonna be a hurricane and he doesn’t show up here, then it’s not a hurricane,” said Dyer.

Though the sign is all in good fun, Forest Ridge is doing everything they can to prepare and keep campers safe.

They do plan to stay open throughout the storm.

“We’re not too sure what’s going to happen ourselves. So, if you want to still come in, come in. If not, then use your own judgment,” Dyer said.