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     USA TODAY

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  • Flood watches have been issued for eastern Massachusetts.
  • The winds could cause scattered tree damage and power outages.
  • Beach erosion will be a major problem in many areas, including on Cape Cod.

A potent, slow-moving nor'easter continued to pound coastal New England on Thursday with heavy rain, rough surf and howling winds.

The stalled storm will drench some communities with several inches of rain – as much as half a foot in some areas – which will lead to flash flooding, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Tiffany Fortier.

Flood watches were issued for eastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, WeatherBug reported.

Thursday, gusts gusting over 50 mph on Nantucket Island, and Provincetown, Massachusetts, measured a gust of 58 mph Thursday morning, the Weather Channel said.

The winds will be strongest through Thursday night; scattered tree damage and power outages are likely, the Weather Channel said.

AccuWeather said the winds can break small tree limbs and knock some of the changing leaves off the trees in New England; sporadic power outages are possible in southeastern New England.

A satellite image shows a nor'easter storm swirling to the east of New England on Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo: NOAA)

The National Weather Service in Boston noted that there could be a number of days without power for those near the coast of southeastern New England.

Beach erosion will be a major problem in many areas, including Cape Cod, Massachusetts: "I think the beaches are going to take a beating," meteorologist Phil Burt told the Cape Cod Times.

"Beach erosion is going to be substantial on the entire arm of the Outer Cape and inside Cape Cod Bay from the Dennis area west to the canal, "said Burt, who serves as director of the Barnstable (Mass.) County fire and rescue training academy.

Rip currents are forecast to be frequent and strong, and people should stay out of the surf, AccuWeather warned.

Although New England will take the brunt of the storm, coastal areas of New York's Long Island, New Jersey and Delaware are also feeling the affects of the nor'easter.

A nor'easter is so-named because the Storms usually bring strong northeast winds. Historically, wintertime nor'easters have brought the U.S. East Coast's heaviest snowfalls.

After the storm makes a loop offshore into Friday, the system is forecast to spin away this weekend, according to AccuWeather.

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