A coastal flood advisory has been issued for Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and coastal Waldo counties.
Federal offices closed on Friday in Washington, while dozens of schools throughout the region canceled classes.
"I encourage all residents to be mindful of the storm and encourage employers to take the weather into consideration, which will mostly impact the coastal areas of our city", Walsh said.
"We're obviously tough New Englanders and resilient to weather, but it's important to make smart decisions during a storm like this", Baker said.
"The winds are going to keep on increasing and the seas are going to go higher and higher for the next three high tide cycles", said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. Areas along eastern Long Island and eastern MA could get 4 to 5 inches of rain from Thursday evening through Saturday. Boston Harbor has only seen a tide level of 15 feet on two other occasions in almost 100 years.
In New Jersey, officials are also expecting heavy rain to flood some rivers and streams, affecting drainage. From Salisbury to Plymouth, as well as the Cape and the Islands, a coastal flood warning remains in effect from 9 a.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Sunday. Power outages and downed trees are likely to develop as the winds peak.
The Associated Press reports that "In Duxbury, south of Boston, officials urged people to evacuate as soon as possible, and the fire department was preparing to use a high water rescue vehicle for the first time to help any residents who wind up stuck in homes during high floodwaters".
One of the biggest challenges of the forecast is the changeover to wet snow, both timing it and determines how much will accumulate.
In Washington and Baltimore, wind gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour are expected. Officials in the nation's capital activated a hypothermia alert and urged homeless residents to take shelter.
Walker noted that the combination of high winds and sustained rain, which softens the ground, could cause trees to fall and power outages.
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