A nor’easter that moved into Maine on Tuesday is expected to generate 4 inches of rain by the time it leaves Friday night, the National Weather Service said.

Unlike the Aug. 13 rainstorm that dumped more than 6 inches of rain on Portland in a matter of hours, this one will linger off the coast for a several days.

But when it does rain, the rain will likely come down hard, with several breaks in between. The most intense rainfall will occur Wednesday evening into Thursday, according to forecasters.

By the time storm ends, nearly all of Maine will have received 4 inches, said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. Portland had received 0.64 inches of rain by late Tuesday night.

“This will be an all-rain event except for some snow showers on Mount Washington,” Kistner said. “We’ll see periods of rain that could be heavy at times.”

The low-pressure system that started dumping rain on Maine Tuesday is stuck for now off Cape Cod. The National Weather Service has issued a gale watch off the coast as it anticipates seas from 11 to 16 feet.

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Kistner said the nor’easter is “just sitting out there and spinning around.” He doesn’t expect the rain to end until Friday afternoon or evening.

There is the potential for rivers to flood later in the week. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch that was scheduled to be in effect from 6 a.m. Wednesday and through midnight Thursday.

“We are the bull’s-eye for this storm. We are going to get a soaking,” Kistner warned. “It will be like a conveyor belt of moisture.”

Lynette Miller, spokeswoman for the Maine Emergency Management Agency, said the state is prepared to deal with whatever hazards the storm may bring.

“It is going to be a major fall weather event with high winds and rain, but it’s something that our communities are familiar with,” she said.

Miller said the nor’easter should not be nearly as destructive as the August storm, which knocked out power to more than 6,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers, flooded roads and streets, stranded motorists, flooded basements and in the city of Portland washed away manhole covers. A hotel in Portland had to be evacuated.

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The city of Portland’s department heads met Tuesday to develop a plan.

“Tomorrow night (Wednesday) is when we expect to experience the heaviest volume of rain and blowing winds,” said Mike Bobinsky, the city’s director of public services.

He said he is concerned that fallen leaves may clog catch basins, causing streets and sidewalks to flood.

The city also will keep an eye on Commercial Street and Marginal Way, which tend to flood during heavy rainstorms.

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