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NH Seacoast prepares for Hurricane Lee

The Rye Harbor sign in front of a parked boat.
Grace McFadden
A parked boat sits behind the Rye Harbor sign. Boats were taken out of the water in anticipation of Tropical Storm Lee passing New Hampshire this weekend.

Hurricane Lee will pass east of the state this weekend, and many along the Seacoast are preparing, as coastal Rockingham county is under a tropical storm warning.

At Rye Harbor, Joy Mills stood to the side of the boat launch as two other groups tried to pull their boats out. When asked if it was usually this crowded at the Harbor, Mill said “only before a storm.”

“Everybody wants to be safe. It’s not worth losing an asset over weather,” Mills said.

Mills said not everyone crowded the launch – some opted to leave their boats in the water, albeit with some extra securing.

“The last couple of days they've been down putting on a second and a third bowline, you know, attached to the mooring,” Mills said. “That gives you added protection in case one of them fails.”

Wayne Driscoll, a commercial fisherman, was one of the people who opted to tie his boat down. Driscoll said there wouldn’t be any finishing this weekend, but he hopes to be back out soon.

“Hopefully I’m gonna go out on Monday, but maybe not. We get out there weather permitting,” Driscoll said.

A bit farther down the shore at Jenness Beach, some people were running towards the shore instead of away from it. Surfers lined up to partake in tide swells from the coming storm. Friday morning, some were unimpressed, including Kareem Durham.

“This is kind of soft, still. So it’s developing, but I don’t know. Usually around this time we start getting hurricane swells,” Durham said.

Durham is a surfer who went down to the beach to watch people catch waves. While the water may have been nothing special Friday morning, the National Weather Service predicts a surf height of 12 to 16 feet for parts of the coast Saturday.

Durham says he expects some less experienced surfers to come out this weekend, which may not be the best idea.

“Then you put yourself and others in danger,” Durham said. “We don’t really have a lifeguard at this beach right now. So it happens that the other surfers have to look out for others and they shouldn’t be out here if they’re not trained, and you know, have the experience to be.”

The National Weather Service has categorized the rip current risk as high, meaning people should stay out of the surf.

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