McKee Administration Provides Key Updates Related to Hurricane Lee Preparation

Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and Lt. Governor Sabina Matos today convened the leadership of all state agencies to review preparedness and response plans as Rhode Island continues to ready for additional flash flooding and severe weather as Hurricane Lee approaches. The Administration will continue to provide updates over the next several days.

“We’ve mobilized all of state government to ensure Rhode Island is prepared for the potential impacts of Hurricane Lee and additional severe weather over the next few days. We are monitoring the situation closely and we are prepared,” said Governor McKee. “We ask Rhode Islanders to stay tuned to your local news and our government social media channels for the latest updates.”

“The whole of Rhode Island’s state government is ready to respond to Hurricane Lee,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “As we prepare for the effects of Hurricane Lee, the Emergency Management Advisory Council urges Rhode Islanders to check in on your neighbors, especially seniors and people with disabilities ahead of the storm and make sure they’re prepared. Let’s stand together to keep our communities safe.”

Hurricane Lee is currently forecasted to pass east of southern New England this weekend, with an increasing risk of wind, coastal flooding, and heavy rain impacts beginning on Friday and continuing through the weekend. The storm is very large and expanding. The impacts will be felt hundreds of miles from the center.

Here is how Rhode Island is preparing for the approaching storm:

  • The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is having daily calls with the National Weather Service and is in regular contact with the National Hurricane Center to get the most updated projections and weather forecasts. RIEMA is also communicating with local EMAs to ensure communities have the necessary supports in place. In partnership with Governor McKee, RIEMA will convene state agencies directors on Thursday to conduct a tabletop exercise dedicated solely to hurricane response.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is continuing to inspect and clear storm drains regularly over the next few days – the team is also inspecting all tree cutting and removal equipment. RIDOT has crews ready to deal with fallen limbs or trees blocking roads and has additional vendor tree crews standing by to assist.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has issued an advisory urging the public to avoid dangerous rip currents and high surf expected to begin today and continue through the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a high rip current risk advisory for Wednesday, Sept. 13, which is likely to be extended through the weekend.
  • The Office of Energy Resources (OER) is in constant contact with Rhode Island Energy (RIE) and the state’s delivered fuel terminals to closely monitor the incoming storm system and its impact on power and fuel supplies across the state. RIE has secured hundreds of additional line and forestry workers to assist, in addition to their full team of Rhode Island Energy employees, which includes underground, wires down, damage assessment, customer service and hundreds of back-office personnel supporting the response effort.
  • Rhode Island Commerce is reminding businesses that they stand ready to assist by providing resources and support in the aftermath of weather-related events. Please contact (401) 521-HELP with any questions or assistance.
  • Rhode Island State Police (RISP) will be closely monitoring the highways and assisting motorists as needed. They are fully prepared with adequate personnel.