A storm could bring heavy rain, strong winds and flooding to New England on Christmas morning, prompting a top official to urge residents to prepare for power outages.
There is a low risk for severe thunderstorms in the morning hours, while flood watches are in place for most of New England as the combination of up to 2 inches of rain and melting snow could prove dangerous, and may flood some basements.
High wind warnings are also widespread across the region. Wind gusts of up to 65 mph are possible for much of Friday, which could topple trees onto homes, roads or power lines. See all severe weather warnings for your area here.
The storm system will arrive late Christmas Eve and continue into Friday, with the strongest wind and heaviest rain expected between 6 and 11 a.m. Christmas Day.
With more people home for the holiday season this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts officials encouraged residents to charge their devices and ensure they have batteries available for flashlights in case the power goes out.
"Manage expectations. There is a very good possibility of power outages," Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips said. "A high wind warning is as severe as it gets."
She said any outages could last a day or two, given how widespread the damage may be, and recommended that people bring in their Christmas decorations early so they aren't thrown around by the wind.
Eversource is bringing in extra crews as the storm, more fitting for spring, hits the region.
"I've been doing this for 31 years and this is my first vacation ever canceled on a holiday to work," Eversource employee Scott Kelley said. "It doesn't happen that often, but we're ready to go if it does."
More on the Christmas Storm
In Maynard, Massachusetts, there is plenty of snow still on the ground. With up to two inches of rain in the forecast, all the water will have to go somewhere.
"We are getting ready, so we're going to be hunkered down like everybody else," Maynard resident Greg Wolf said.