Healey Issues Emergency Declaration, Activates National Guard Ahead of Lee

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — As Hurricane Lee continues to make it's way up towards the Commonwealth, Governor Maura Healey has declared a state of emergency and has asked FEMA to issue a Pre-Disaster Emergency Declaration under the Stafford Act, making the state eligible for Direct Federal Assistance to help pay for the additional personnel, equipment, supplies and any assistance with evacuations that may arise.

“I am declaring a state of emergency ahead of anticipated impacts from Hurricane Lee to ensure that the state can mobilize quickly to respond. I am also calling on FEMA to issue a Stafford Act declaration to free up resources that we can use to help communities with any recovery that might be necessary,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We’re grateful for the extensive efforts of public safety officials who are responding to emergencies to keep people safe. All of us can do our part to help our friends and neighbors – and we encourage every Massachusetts resident to make sure they are prepared for this storm.”

Governor Healey is also activating as many as 50 National Guard members to assist in both storm preparations and response.

“As a former mayor, I understand the unique challenges that municipal leaders face during extreme weather events, and we appreciate their efforts to ensure their communities stay safe and help them recover from any damage,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This emergency declaration is a step to help bolster the process for delivering relief to communities impacted by Hurricane Lee.”

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is now encouraging all residents to familiarize themselves with Hurricane Evacuation Zone, put together an emergency kit with at least three-days worth of essentials, including food, water, a flashlight, radio, and any required medications.

“I am thankful for our emergency management partners at every level of government, as well as our private and non-profit partners, who have been coordinating daily to provide situational awareness and preparing for potential impacts, which include storm surge flooding, strong wind and the possibility of power outages,” said MEMA Director Dawn Brantley. “We are prepared to operate the State and MEMA East Regional Emergency Operations Centers 24/7 for as long as they are needed. MEMA will deploy one of our local coordinators to support the Barnstable County Multi-Agency Coordination Center on Cape Cod, where some of the most significant impacts are expected.”

The storm is expected to bring wind gusts, rain and potential coastal flooding to the much of southern New England Friday evening through Saturday morning, when Hurricane Lee is expected to pass off the coast of the Cape. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire Massachusetts coastline, including the Cape and Islands.

The Cape and Islands are most likely to get hit the hardest with possible tropical storm force winds, with 50-60 mph gusts. As far as coastal flooding is concerned, the storm is expected to dump somewhere between 1-3" of rain onto the Cape and Islands Friday into Saturday. High tide is scheduled for early Saturday, which could impact the northern shoreline of the Cape and Nantucket.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) reports

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