Coastal businesses prep for Hurricane Lee

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:44 AM EDT
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(WABI) - With great scenic views comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to extreme weather.

As Hurricane Lee approaches, coastal businesses are using the calm before the storm to prepare.

At Grindstone Neck Golf Course in Winter Harbor, Golf Course Superintendent Kevin Conley explains their prep process: “We’ll go around and take all the signs in, trash cans, lay all the benches over their sides. We have a couple of greens and tees that are right on the ocean. We’ll push everything back up out of the wind’s way.”

The golf course is surrounded by Schoodic Peninsula. With heavy rains ahead of Lee, the greens are already feeling the effects. Conley says the course will be closed until Sunday, and maybe even Monday or Tuesday, to let the ground dry.

In Steuben, lobstermen are hitting the water to secure their assets.

“I’ve taken up half my traps and shifted the other half inside the Pigeon Hill Bay, hoping for some cover while this hurricane hits. I’ve taken up 120 in the last three days, but I still have 120 out there right now,” says 16-year-old lobsterman Lance Kennedy from BBS Lobster Trap. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I haven’t been fishing too long, but I’ve been fishing long enough to know that 70, 80 mile an hour winds in here, 20, 25 foot seas is not going to be very good.”

The rainy, wet summer we experienced has already been detrimental to these coastal businesses.

“We’re down from where we were last year. We lost pretty much the whole month of June, half of July. We had a better August, but September has been pretty much a loss,” explains Conley. “If the weather’s bad, it rains, we lose all business, nobody comes to play. Although I suspect there’ll be people that want to play in a hurricane.”

For Kennedy and other lobstermen, the conditions have resulted in lesser yields: “Fog is what’s been killing us the most because it’s hard to see your traps and you might miss one every now and then. Overall, you just miss out on money.”

“Summer weather in general has been not very good and this on top of it, Hurricane Lee, is really ending the summer in a great way,” Kennedy says sarcastically.