Powerful nor'easter brings high winds, coastal flooding to southern Maine

Laura Christensen
March 3, 2018

A major storm is coming to the East Coast this weekend, bringing with it severe rain, hurricane-strength gusts of wind and coastal flooding.

The storm knocked out power to 700,000 homes and businesses from MI to North Carolina. By midmorning Friday, more than a half-million power customers were offline across that area.

Mullen says areas in Ashtabula County in the far northeast corner of the state received 10-12 inches of wet, heavy snow while temperatures hovered around freezing.

Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. -based travelers should check directly with their airline about flight cancelations.

Flight tracking website FlightAware.com says more than 1,000 flights involving U.S. airports have been canceled for Friday. Winds of these speeds can definitely take down some trees and power lines.

"This is one of the more extreme storms in recent memory in terms of coastal flooding and damaging wind potential along the coast, but also includes heavy wet snow and heavy rain as important factors", the agency said. "Snow will turn dryer and lighter and combined with strong winds, will cause risky conditions making driving extremely hazardous from blowing and drifting snow".

That storm battered areas all along Massachusetts' coast, and local officials said they're preparing for similar flooding. I am also concerned about an area south of Boston including perhaps even the upper Cape which could see a burst of snow as this storm begins to pull east.

The winds are part of a major nor'easter that was pounding the East Coast on Friday, also packing heavy rain and intermittent snow further north.

"People need to take this very seriously", Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told a Thursday press conference, telling people to prepare for a repeat of the flooding that affected much of state's east coast during the January 4 "bombogenesis" winter storm.

Rain Thursday Afternoon; A Dry Weekend Ahead
That being said, regardless of any severe weather threat, winds will be gusty all day long, exceeding 35 miles per hour at times. Scattered showers will be with us for much of Monday morning before drying out late this afternoon.

The Eastern Seaboard was expected to be buffeted by wind gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour, with possible hurricane-strength winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Freezing rain, sleet, snow, and risky winds are battering the East Coast right now, causing flight delays and cancelations to and from cities all along the eastern seaboard.

The winds are expected to pick up Friday afternoon and continue into the evening.

The heaviest snow totals will be in central and western NY from Albany to Buffalo.

The heaviest snow could fall in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley.

A Nor'easter is expected to bring heavy downpours and wind from the Carolinas up to Maine. Just remember that the lower the storm's pressure the stronger storm it is.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 National Guard members.

Heavy rains, extreme high tides and a wind-driven storm surge could combine to cause several feet of water to flow onto streets in coastal MA, with government and private weather forecasters warning of a repeat of an early-January storm that drove a couple of feet of icy seawater onto Boston's streets.

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