New Bedford prepares for Hurricane Lee; possible closure of barrier, important contact numbers

“The National Weather Service Boston Office has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Southern Bristol County including New Bedford. Winds will increase on Friday and remain gusty through Saturday night. Tropical storm-force winds are expected late Friday night and Saturday near the coast. Buzzards Bay is not anticipated to experience a significant storm surge, but residents are advised to beware of possible rip currents and heavy surf on ocean-facing beaches. Heavy rains may also produce localized flooding in low-lying areas.

City Beaches, CoveWalk, HarborWalk, Fort Taber, and City-Operated Boat Ramps Closed Effective Friday, September 15, at 8:00 p.m.
City Beaches, CoveWalk, HarborWalk, and Fort Taber will be closed to the public effective Friday, September 15, at 8:00 p.m. Police will be making regular patrols of the South End beaches, HarborWalk, CoveWalk, and Fort Taber, and will remove people from those areas. Information regarding re-openings will be provided in future updates.

Possible Closure of the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier Navigation Gate
The Army Corps of Engineers may make a determination regarding the closure of the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier in conjunction with high tide events. The New Bedford Port Authority encourages all vessel owners to make arrangements for berthing or hauling in the harbor as far in advance of the arrival of storm conditions as possible. Vessel owners should monitor the usual channels for updates on the status of the Navigation Gate.

Buttonwood Park Zoo Closed on Saturday, September 16
Buttonwood Park Zoo will be closed to the public on Saturday, September 16.

The City of New Bedford Recycling Center Closed on Saturday, September 16
The Recycling Center located at 1103 Shawmut Ave. will be closed on Saturday, September 16.

New Bedford Regional Airport to Remain Open As Long as Safe
The New Bedford Regional Airport will remain in operation for as long as it remains safe. Passengers should contact their air carriers, including Cape Air, directly to confirm their flight status.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Residents and Business Owners
Mayor Jon Mitchell advises residents and business owners to review the “Hurricane Preparedness Checklist” available on the city webpage (https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/emergency-management/prepared/) and to take proactive steps to protect their property from rain and wind damage.

Important Emergency Contact Numbers
• To report a downed power line, medical, fire, or other emergencies, please dial 911.
• In the event of power loss, residents are encouraged to call Eversource at 1-800-592-2000 (Residents should not assume that an outage affecting their location has already been reported.) Eversource strongly urges the public to stay away from all down wires and to report them immediately.
• The New Bedford Police Department can also be reached on its non-emergency line at (508) 991-6350.