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Maine locks down before ferocious hit by hurricane
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Heavy rain drenched Maine yesterday and fishermen moved boats to shelter as Hurricane Kyle plowed northward across the Atlantic, triggering the northeastern state's first hurricane watch in 17 years.

Kyle could make landfall in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick sometime during the night or early today, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A hurricane watch was posted along the coast of Maine from Stonington, at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, to Eastport on the Canadian border, and for southwestern Nova Scotia, the center said. Tropical storm warnings were in effect from Stonington to the coasts of southern New Brunswick and southwest Nova Scotia.

There were no immediate plans for evacuations in Maine.

Near the Canadian border, residents along the rugged coast are accustomed to rough weather, but that usually comes in snowstorms rather than tropical systems, said Washington County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Hineman.

"Down East we get storms with 80 to 96 kilometer-per-hour winds every winter. Those storms can become ferocious," he said. Down East is the rugged, sparsely populated area from about Bar Harbor to the Canadian border.

Many lobstermen moved their boats to sheltered coves, said Dwight Carver, a lobsterman on Beals Island. Some also moved lobster traps from shallow water, but most were caught off-guard by the storm's short notice.

"I'm sure we'll have a lot of snarls, a lot of mess, to take care of when it's done," Carver said. "It'll take us a few days to straighten things out."

Heavy rain lashed the state yesterday for a third straight day. As much as 14 centimeters had already fallen along coastal areas. Flood watches were in effect for the southern two-thirds of New Hampshire and southern Maine throughout last night.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily September 29, 2008)

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