BOSTON — The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for eastern Massachusetts and the whole of Rhode Island, saying the potential exists for strong damaging winds to develop there.

The agency says the winds could hit the region between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Winds will be blowing north, at speeds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts of up to 50 mph.

The weather service warns that the winds are capable of downing trees and power lines as well as damaging property.

Meteorologists also warned that the storm bearing down on eastern Massachusetts could cause coastal flooding and beach erosion from Saturday evening through Sunday morning.

Utility firm National Grid urged customers to prepare for service interruptions, saying it has mobilized additional crews and gear to restore any outages.