Editor’s note: Click here to read our most recent story on the storm. Almost 200,000 people are without power.
Heavy winds and rain that barreled into Massachusetts Sunday afternoon were expected to strengthen overnight, causing flash floods, power outages, and a messy Monday commute, meteorologists said.
“The Greater Boston area is looking at 1 to 2 inches of rain and sustained southeasterly winds of between 35 to 45 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour,” said Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Scattered showers began in western portions of the state around 1:30 p.m., while heavier rains, estimated to leave 1 to 2 inches, started late afternoon in Greater Boston. Isolated parts of the state could see 3 to 4 inches of rain, according to the forecast.
Overnight power outages are “very likely,” said Buttrick, especially along the eastern coast of Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, and in portions of Rhode Island.
“The whole state is going to be impacted, but the wind is going to be what really causes damage, and they’ll be the strongest on the East Coast. With winds that strong, we could see many trees toppling and taking out power lines,” she said.
The weather service issued a flash-flood watch for all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in effect until 6 a.m. Monday, and a high-wind warning for most of the region. Winds were expected to be worst along the coast, where meteorologists forecast overnight wind gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency released an alert Sunday afternoon warning residents of the damaging winds and potential for flooding.
“Flash flooding in urban and poor-drainage areas, including streets and in homes and businesses, is possible,” the alert said. “The threat of flash flooding is highest in Western Massachusetts, but also exists in Eastern MA.”
As of 2:15 a.m. Monday, about 193,000 customers were without power across the state, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
As the winds ramped up in the evening, Eversource said it would send out extra line and tree crews to try and limit outages caused by the storm, said Dennis Galvam, Eversource’s manager of community relations for Massachusetts.
“We have to take each outage on a case-by-case basis, but we will work to restore power as soon as possible,” Galvam said.
Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the number of leaves still on trees means there is more resistance to wind and it is more likely that branches will fall and knock down power lines.
The storm was expected to make for a miserable morning commute on Monday.
“Rush hour certainly could be problematic. There will be residual rain as well as debris potentially still on the road,” Buttrick said. “I’d plan on giving yourself some extra time.”
Monday is expected to be breezy, as winds whip in from the west at up to 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 34 miles per hour, she said.
Up to half an inch of additional rain is expected to fall Monday morning, but it will probably taper off before 2 p.m., according to the weather service.
The storm should be long gone in time for all the trick-or-treaters heading out on Halloween. The holiday is expected to be sunny with a high of 58 degrees, with light winds of 9 miles per hour blowing from the southwest.
This month has been Boston’s second-warmest October on record, Dunham said.
Wednesday, the first day of November, should be similar to Tuesday, with a high of 56 degrees.
There is a chance of rain on Thursday and Friday, but not significant amounts, Buttrick said.
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