BOSTON (AP/WHDH) — A powerful nor’easter barreled up the U.S. Northeast coast into New England Tuesday as officials warned of intense flooding, hurricane-force wind gusts, and widespread power outages.

RELATEDTrack the storm on interactive radar

In Massachusetts, officials warned of possible flooding and power outages as the storm arrived. The worst of it was expected to hit late Tuesday through Wednesday morning, lashing the region with high winds and heavy rain.

Two to four inches of rain is projected to fall with an isolated five inches possible over a two-day span.

A flood watch is in effect until Wednesday evening for all of Mass. excluding the Cape and the Islands, Berkshire County, and Western Franklin County.

A coastal flood advisory has also been issued from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday for Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as the eastern coastline.

Wind gusts as high as 75 mph were forecast on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, with sustained winds as high as 45 mph.

The National Weather Service warned that waves off the state’s coast could reach 19 feet.

A high wind warning remains in effect until 2 p.m. on Wednesday for parts of Essex, Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth, Suffolk, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 2 p.m. on Wednesday in Central Middlesex, Southern Worcester, and Western Essex counties.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suspended its ferry service Tuesday and Wednesday. In Salem, which hosts one of the nation’s largest Halloween festivals through October, the town canceled ferry service to Boston, urging visitors to take a commuter train instead.

The early nor’easter arrives before many trees have shed their leaves for the winter, raising the risk for power outages as branches weighed down by wet leaves come in contact with transmission lines.

Eversource, a power company that serves Connecticut and other New England states, warned widespread outages were possible through Wednesday.

This comes after Falmouth experienced flooding Monday night that left at least one motorist stuck.

New York and New Jersey issued emergency declarations ahead of the storm, which was forecast to gather strength through the day as it swept toward New England.

Parts of New Jersey had been soaked by more than 5 inches of rain Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service, leading to flooding in some areas. Strong winds were forecast to buffet the area through Wednesday, bringing the potential for widespread power outages, officials said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy delayed the opening of state offices until 11 a.m. because of the wind and rain, calling the day “a wash out.” The storm prompted Rutgers University to move classes online for the day, while some other colleges and school districts canceled instruction.

The storm has already disrupted some flights, and federal officials warned about possible delays or cancellations across the region.

Seven flights were diverted from New York City’s airports to Albany on Monday night because of heavy rain, according to officials at Albany International Airport. All but one of the flights had left Albany by early Tuesday.

In the waters off New York’s Long Island, the U.S. Coast Guard and local police searched Tuesday for a kayaker who did not return from a trip Monday night. He left a few hours before heavy rain started falling.

The storm arrives just weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Ida inundated the Northeast and caused deadly flooding. At least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut died as rainwater trapped cars on submerged waterways and flooded subway stations and basements.

For the latest weather updates, visit the 7Weather page.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox