The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm watch for coastal waters along the Washington County shoreline Saturday, saying winds whipped up by Hurricane Dorian are expected to range between roughly 30 and 40 mph and could gust as high as 52 mph. Waves produced along the Down East coast by the storm are expected to be between 9 and 14 feet high.
The service said such conditions are possible between Schoodic Point and Eastport as the storm moves northeast past Cape Cod on Saturday morning. The watch applies to coastal waters off Washington County and does not include any of the communities along the coast or elsewhere in Maine.
A more serious tropical storm warning has been issued for all offshore waters out in the Gulf of Maine.
As of late Thursday afternoon, Dorian had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and was centered approximately 45 miles out to sea south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The storm is expected to move northeast over the next two days over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and then offshore from the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, before passing directly over Nova Scotia late Saturday.
The hurricane will likely cause “high surf and dangerous rip currents” Friday night and Saturday for coastal areas in Hancock and Washington counties, the National Weather Service warned in a separate statement. There’s also the potential for minor flooding around high tide and heavy rainfall in Hancock, Washington and southern Penobscot counties.
High tides between Friday evening and Saturday evening in eastern Maine will occur roughly around 5:20 p.m. Friday, around 6 a.m. Saturday and again at 6:20 p.m. that evening.
Earlier this week, Dorian was a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, with sustained wind speeds of more than 180 mph and gusts exceeding 220 mph, when it struck Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas on Sunday. At least 20 people in the Bahamas were killed by the storm, according to the Associated Press.