NEW YORK (WABC) — Officials are urging New Yorkers to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Lee as the storm continues to move north and strengthen in the Atlantic.
The hurricane is not currently projected to hit New York, but long-range coastal effects are possible.
Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the deployment of 50 soldiers from the New York National Guard to begin preparations on Long Island.
The announcement comes as agencies prepare for the storm that could cause dangerous high surf, rip currents, coastal flooding, and beach erosion along parts of the east coast later this week as it moves north.
“A major hurricane is currently churning in the Atlantic and we are keeping a close eye on this storm because it’s too early to predict what this potentially dangerous weather system will do,” Hochul said. “Out of an abundance of caution, I have deployed the National Guard and directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and be ready to respond to local requests for assistance. New Yorkers in coastal areas should watch the forecast and be ready to act, if necessary, to stay safe.”
In New York City, emergency management officials are also urging New Yorkers to remain alert and prepared.
NYCEM said no significant winds, rain or flooding is expected in the city. However, indirect impacts, such as high surf and dangerous rip currents, are likely to develop along Atlantic-facing beaches Wednesday.
“We are closely watching Hurricane Lee and while its impact on New York City is still uncertain, these next few days are the best time to review your own emergency plans and supplies as we move through the peak of hurricane season,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Our City’s emergency managers are fully engaged and coordinating across agencies to ensure the safety of our residents. But we can’t do it alone. I urge every New Yorker to review your emergency plans, know if you are in an evacuation zone, and stay informed through Notify NYC. We all play a role in our city’s resilience.”
Lee is expected to weaken in upcoming days as it enters cooler waters.
“Despite the weakening that is forecast, keep in mind that the expanding wind field of Lee will produce impacts well away from the storm center,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Lee was generating dangerous surf and rip currents for the Lesser Antilles, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda and parts of the southeast U.S. coast. Those conditions were expected to soon spread to the U.S. East Coast.
“It remains too soon to know what level of additional impacts Lee might have along the northeastern U.S. coast and Atlantic Canada late this week and this weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaked on Sunday.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
RELATED | Hurricane Lee: Latest path, updates
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News