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Latest projections show Hurricane Lee making landfall in Down East Maine

Hurricane Lee will make landfall Down East, according to the latest projections from the National Hurricane Center.

The models predict Lee will arrive on land around the Jonesboro and Machias area at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Forecasters believe Lee will have slowed to "tropical storm" status by the time it arrives here.

"Definitely expect sustained winds, heavy rainfall, with gusts up to 60 mph," said Patrick Maloit, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Caribou.

While areas in and near the pathway may be hit hardest by Lee, Maloit warns the effects will be felt all over the state.

"This would [feel like] a strong nor'easter," said Maloit. "[Mainers should] anticipate a strong nor'easter type of impact, and engage in their preparations for what they would do for a strong nor'easter."

Residents are advised to look out for fallen trees, and for flooding along the coasts. Maloit says people should monitor the latest projections as Lee's trajectory may change in the coming days.

Here's the latest from the National Hurricane Center, as of 2 p.m. Wednesday:

"At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Lee was located near latitude 26.8 North, longitude 67.5 West. Lee is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected by tonight, followed by an increase in speed on Thursday and Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Lee will pass west of Bermuda Thursday and Thursday night and then approach the coast of New England or Atlantic Canada Friday and Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Slow weakening is forecast during the next few days, however, Lee is likely to remain a large and dangerous hurricane into the weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles (390 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure based on dropsonde data from the Air Force reconnaissance aircraft is 952 mb (28.11 inches)."

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.

Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.