Surfers at North Beach in Hampton take advantage of waves boosted by Hurricane Lee out to sea Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

NH - Lee's effect in Seacoast NH, Maine: Waves, wind and unusual beach day

The effects of Hurricane Lee, downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Saturday, were less severe than feared in Seacoast New Hampshire and southern Maine.

There was no flooding at Hampton Beach at high tide around 1 p.m. and tropical storm warnings for New Hampshire's coastline were dropped by mid-day. The warnings remained in place in Maine, according to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. Winds reached 44 mph in Kittery, Maine, according to meteorologist Sarah Thunberg.

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Beachgoers who gathered in Hampton to watch the expected high waves took milder than expected weather as a pleasant surprise.

“It’s the best storm day. It’s not even raining,” Denise Leo said near the Seashell Stage shortly before high tide.

Marc and Pauline Aube, who were camping nearby, said they were glad their visit wasn’t ruined by the storm. Like many others on the beach, they enjoyed the crashing waves.

“Actually, I’m kind of satisfied,” Marc Aube said. “I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as it should have been.”

Many beach businesses enjoyed plenty of traffic with some wind but otherwise pleasant conditions. Some closed to brace for the weather, but the Sea Ketch, Boardwalk Cafe and Blink’s Fry Doe were all serving customers.

Hampton’s fire and police chiefs expected no flooding at high tide. Fire Chief Mike McMahon said the concern was flooding from the marsh behind the beach, but he said the winds from the west prevented that.

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno said they initially expected up to 14-foot high tide. The actual height was between 8 and 9 feet according to tide watch sites like

Waves were about 4 to 5 feet high, according to Hampton Beach lifeguard Chief Patrick Murphy. He said the last time the beach saw unusually large waves in the summer was in 2009 when Hurricane Bill hit.

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