(TNS) - The third nor'easter in two weeks has left 108,000 households in the dark in Massachusetts this morning, as a blizzard warning has extended through Boston.
Strong winds reduced visibility to near zero as the storm drove north from New Jersey this morning, prompting the National Weather Service to extend its blizzard warning overnight to include Boston.
“That is a change from yesterday,” said NWS meteorologist Kim Buttrick. “Basically, pretty much the entire eastern coast of Massachusetts is under a blizzard warning.”
That warning will remain in effect until 8 p.m., as will a winter storm warning for the rest of the state. Buttrick said 12 to 18 inches of snow is still expected to blanket Massachusetts east of Worcester east. Plymouth County and upper Cape Cod could get slammed with up to 2 feet of “white mud,” wetter, pastier snow than locations north and west.
As of 10:15 a.m., 108,925 households were without power, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Almost all those without electricity were in the storm-whipped eastern region of the state, with Pembroke, Marion, Norwell, Cohasset and Sandwich especially hard-hit, and 100 percent of customers in Plympton in the dark, according to Eversource.
Both Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh are urging people to stay home and off the roads. Schools, state and municipal offices are closed.
For those who must travel, but can take public transportation, the MBTA is operating reduced service on its subway lines and an “extremely reduced” schedule for the commuter rail. Ferry service is suspended until further notice.
The state Department of Transportation has 3,200 pieces of snow-fighting equipment deployed on highways. The Boston Department of Public Works will have more than 700 plows and sanders on the job throughout the day. A snow emergency has already been declared in the city.
As the storm approaches, Buttrick said, “It’s going to deepen, it’s going to strengthen.”
She said sustained winds of 20 to 40 mph are likely with wind gusts reaching as high as 60 mph , and even higher on Nantucket.
The weather service, meanwhile, has posted a minor flooding advisory for the North Shore for the 9:14 a.m. high tide. Buttrick said storm surge of 2 to 3 feet is expected.
A coastal flood warning is up for the South Shore and Cape, where Buttrick said storm surge could reach 3 ½ feet.
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