When Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Caribbean and up into the southeast earlier this month, New Bedford, Massachusetts offered a safe harbor. Now it’s in the path of Jose, which was just upgraded from tropical storm to hurricane again by the National Hurricane Center.
The potential path of the storm is still uncertain, but it is currently on track to make landfall in New England. Fortunately, beach season is past, but extreme weather could disrupt the fresh school semester, and fall is a key tourist season for the region.
“For parents, they’re usually gone right about now. They’ve got kids and sports and school. You’ve got the people who really love the late summer and early fall. September is some of the best boating around. Then you have the diehards. They’ll stay unless you have something lingering like Jose,” Mattapoisett Harbormaster Jill Simmons explained.
New Englanders who remember Sandy and Irma know that the region isn’t particularly well equipped to handle such severe storms. Property damage is still a real concern, especially since similar high tides to those that caused flooding in Charleston, despite Hurricane Irma technically sitting 200 miles away, will be present when Jose hits.
For now, Jose is a Category 1 hurricane and New England still has until Tuesday or Wednesday to batten down the hatches. “We’ve got a new moon, that means we’re running astronomically high for our tide cycle at this time of the month, and that may lead to some coastal flooding,” said Meteorologist AJ Burnett.
For now, there is little to do but watch, wait and hope Jose gets no stronger than it’s present category.