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Northeastern snowstorm sweeps 'conveyor belt' of snow into New England

The latest New England storm is bringing wind-whipped snow, rain, strong winds, big waves, and coastal flooding to the northeast.

By Denise LavoieAssociated Press / March 7, 2013

Isebelle Valentine, 5, launches a snowball toward her father as she enjoys a snow day in Fredericksburg, Va. After dropping up to 20 inches of snow on Virginia and other eastern states, the storm is threatening New England with another 8 to 12 inches of snow.

Reza A. Marvashti / The Free Lance-Star / AP

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Boston

A late-winter storm that buried parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic swept into New England on Thursday, bringing snow, rain, strong winds, big waves and fears of coastal flooding.

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The region braced for the brunt of the storm overnight Thursday and into Friday. Powerful waves and high winds were expected to cause more trouble than snow from Rhode Island to Maine.

In the seacoast town of Scituate, Mass., about 30 miles south of Boston, about a dozen streets were closed after Thursday morning's high tide sent 2 to 2 1/2 feet of water washing into some areas.

Emergency management officials said the evening tide brought fewer problems, but they worried about getting through Friday morning's high tide before the storm was expected to wind down. No severe flooding was reported elsewhere.

"There are no mandatory evacuations, but it is strongly advised," said Scituate Police Chief Brian Stewart. "Why put yourself at risk? Folks have been through this before, and they know what happens in these areas. We're recommending that people in areas that have experienced coastal flooding to evacuate three hours before high tide."

In Salisbury, Mass., on the New Hampshire border, officials ordered evacuations for homes along several beachfront streets.

The National Weather Service predicted up to 7 inches of heavy, wet snow in southeastern Connecticut and wind gusts up to 50 mph. A coastal flood warning was in effect for east-facing shores in Massachusetts, with up to a 3-foot surge at high tide in some areas. Central Massachusetts was bracing for 8 to 12 inches of snow, with predictions for Boston and nearby areas of 6 to 10 inches.

"We are watching a conveyor belt of wave after wave of snow coming in over the Atlantic," said Alan Dunham, meteorologist with the weather service in Taunton, Mass. "That will be continuing all night."

On Cape Cod, where the storm was expected to be mostly rain, officials were concerned about beach erosion. The area suffered extensive erosion from Superstorm Sandy in October and a major snowstorm last month.

"We've really gotten more erosion in the last six months than we've experienced in the last decade," said Sandwich Town Manager George Dunham. "These three storms are really taking a toll."

Some in Massachusetts were taking the storm in stride.

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