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Pre-Christmas storm prompts coastal flood, high wind warnings in Massachusetts

BOSTON — Coastal flood and high wind warnings have been issued in Massachusetts ahead of pre-Christmas storm that’s expected to bring heavy rain, strong wind gusts, and the possibility for widespread damage to the region beginning Thursday evening.

The coastal flood warning is in effect for portions of eastern, northeastern, and southeastern Massachusetts from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Impacted areas include Barnstable, Dukes, Eastern Essex, Eastern Norfolk, Eastern Plymouth, Nantucket, Southern Bristol, Southern Plymouth, and Suffolk counties.

“Minor coastal flooding is expected along Morrissey Boulevard in Boston. Coastal flooding is expected along the North Shore from Marblehead northward along the coast to Newburyport. The combination of high tides and large swells will result in flooding of some immediate coastal roads and some road closures are anticipated. Minor coastal flooding will likely begin on Easy Street in Nantucket,” the NWS said in an advisory.

The greatest concern for pockets of moderate coastal flooding will be across North Shore given the exposure to east-southeast winds, the NWS noted.

Vulnerable shoreline roads may become flooded and impassable within a few hours of high tide and there may be significant beach erosion on the South Coast, as well as the south side of Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket.

In addition to the possibility of flooding and expected heavy rainfall, wind is the biggest concern. Gusts of 50-60 mph will likely develop and lead to areas of wind damage and power outages.

A high wind warning has been issued for Barnstable, Central Middlesex County, Dukes, Eastern Essex, Eastern Norfolk, Eastern Plymouth, Nantucket, Northern Bristol, Southeast Middlesex, Southern Bristol, Southern Plymouth, Suffolk, Western Essex, Western Norfolk, and Western Plymouth counties from 1 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday.

South winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are possible in those areas.

“Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles, the NWS said in a statement. “Fasten loose objects or shelter objects in a safe location prior to the onset of winds.”

A wind advisory is in effect for Eastern Franklin, Eastern Hampden, Eastern Hampshire, Northern Worcester, Northwest Middlesex, Southern Worcester, Western Franklin, Western Hampden, and Western Hampshire counties from 1 a.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Southeast winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected in those areas.

There will be a brief period of snow late Thursday afternoon and into the evening at elevations. It will likely flip to rain by midnight as temperatures warm into Friday.


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