BOSTON — Coastal towns in Massachusetts were bracing for powerful waves at morning high tide and commuters were facing a tough drive as a nor’easter offshore was bringing waves of snow, strong wind and water from the Atlantic to New England.
The National Weather Service reports early Friday that central Massachusetts and areas southwest of Boston are getting the most snow, and will get more before it tapers off just after noon.
The communities of Randolph, Weymouth and Mansfield have all already received 10 or more inches of snow. In central Massachusetts, Shrewsbury is reporting 10 inches.
Residents of Scituate and Sandwich and people with homes on Plum Island are bracing for the high tide at about 8 a.m. that is expected to bring flooding and beach erosion.
“We are watching a conveyor belt of wave after wave of snow coming in over the Atlantic,” said Alan Dunham, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass. “The morning commute will definitely be a challenge,” he said, especially for those headed into Boston from the south.
Powerful waves and high winds were expected to cause more trouble than snow.
In Scituate, Mass., a shoreline town about 30 miles south of Boston, emergency management officials were worried about getting through Friday’s high tide.
“I think that’s going to be very dangerous,” said Scituate Police Chief Brian Stewart. He said the town had advised people in flood-prone areas to leave during high tides that began Thursday, when no major damage was reported.
In Salisbury, Mass., on the New Hampshire border, officials ordered evacuations for homes along several beachfront streets flooded during a February blizzard.
In New Hampshire, many schools are closed or delayed and roads are slick as a winter storm makes its way through the state.
The storm could leave at least several inches of snow before moving out Friday afternoon.
Coastal residents are watching the tides. A seawall along Route 1A in Rye was damaged during Thursday morning high tide, and officials said there could be similar damage Friday and some flooding.
In Connecticut, where up to 6 inches of snow was expected by Friday, people were hoping for a break after a snowy winter.
“I’m just wishing we’d be done with snow,” said Steve Edwards, a contractor in Newtown. “We just finally saw some green grass.”
The late-winter storm buried parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic before sweeping into New England.
In Virginia, three people were killed, including a 22-year-old man who died after his vehicle ran off an icy road. Up to 20 inches of snow piled up in central and western Virginia, which had more than 200,000 outages at the height of the storm. The storm dumped 2 feet of snow in parts of neighboring West Virginia, closing schools in more than half the state and leaving more than 20,000 customers without power. Two North Carolina boaters were missing offshore after a third crew member was rescued Wednesday.