2023 Hurricane Idalia Threat Assessment #1
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Healthcare Ready's Posture
Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for this event. We are monitoring potential concerns for supply chain disruptions and impacts on healthcare services on our response page, listing resources and previous situation reports.
- As of Thursday, September 14, Hurricane Lee is moving north towards the coast of Maine, southern New Brunswick, and western Nova Scotia. Lee is expected to bring heavy rainfall to those areas, from Friday night into Saturday, which could cause flooding, downed trees, and other tropical storm impacts.
- Additionally, there is a potential for life-threatening storm surge flooding to occur along the coast of Massachusetts (Cape Cod and Nantucket) from Friday into Saturday.
- While it appears that Hurricane Lee will not make any direct landfall with mainland US, the biggest impacts could come from excessive rainfall, storm surge, and strong winds causing infrastructure damage and blocking roadways.
Critical Healthcare Infrastructure
- The images below represent heatmaps of healthcare facilities (including Hospitals, pharmacies, Dialysis Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers) in the coastal counties in Massachusetts and Maine.
Rx Open Data
The table below shows the number of critical healthcare facilities in the coastal counties above.
Impacts to Healthcare
- Based on the HHS emPOWER Map, which displays the total number of at-risk electricity-dependent Medicare beneficiaries, Massachusetts has over 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries with 41,040 being at-risk beneficiaries.
- The coastal counties (Essex, Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket, Dukes, Bristol, Norfolk, and Suffolk) are likely to be impacted the most by Hurricane Lee and they account for 21,180 of the at-risk beneficiaries.
- This means blocked roadway access, damaged infrastructure, and power outages could significantly impact those coastal communities. It’ll be essential that response teams clear debris and restore power to those counties as quickly as possible.
- There are 6 regional emergency shelters in Barnstable County that can be activated if conditions are severe enough. As of Thursday, September 14, all 6 shelters statuses are closed.
- Eversource Energy and National Grid are the two main electric utility companies that service the coastal counties in Massachusetts. Mainly all the coastal counties are serviced by Eversource Energy besides Nantucket which is serviced by National Grid.
- Eversource Energy is monitoring the storm and anticipates significant power outages as the preexisting conditions (saturated grounds and weakened trees) are opportune for power outages. They are pre-positioning equipment and teams across the state to respond as quickly as possible.
- Based on the HHS emPOWER Map, which displays the total number of at-risk electricity-dependent Medicare beneficiaries, Maine has 364,743 Medicare beneficiaries with 12,579 being at-risk beneficiaries.
- The coastal counties (York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock, and Washington) are likely to be impacted the most by Hurricane Lee and they account for 5,751 of the at-risk beneficiaries.
- Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant Power are electric utility companies that service the coastal counties in Maine and both are preparing for Hurricane Lee.
- CMP noted that Maine could see significant power outages due to high winds knocking down stressed and weakened trees – especially with Maine having the highest tree density of any state.
- Versant Power has stated that they are preparing for outages throughout their service areas and have already contracted additional response teams to get power back up as soon as possible. Versant Power also anticipates significant power outages due to stressed trees and saturated grounds.
- Maine has several island communities along the eastern coast that are currently suffering from rising water levels and those issues could be further exacerbated by Hurricane Lee.
- While Maine’s coastal counties are more protected from storm surge and rising water levels, the island communities are at a much higher risk of seeing significant impacts. And vulnerable populations within those communities could experience exacerbated conditions.
- Both Nantucket and Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) are only accessible via ferry and air – there are no roads or bridges that connect them to the US mainland so individuals in those counties should continue to monitor those storm’s potential impacts and prepare accordingly.
- Service on the Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard route may be disrupted starting Friday night with cancellations expected throughout Saturday.
- The resumption of operations will rely on how quickly the storm moves through the area, the conditions it brings, and how quickly impacts can be inspected and resolved.
- With Cape Cod being a narrow peninsula and only having a few roadways to get in and out of it, it will be critical for response teams to clear debris from those roads:
- There are three major routes that lead into Cape Cod:
- MA Route 25
- I-95 South
- MA Route 3
- There are three major roads within Cape Cod:
- US Route 6
- Route 6A
- MA Route 28
- There are three major routes that lead into Cape Cod:
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