A powerful storm that will bring rain, snow, bitter cold and damaging winds to the Northeast this week will also lead to coastal flooding along much of the region's coast.
Coastal flood alerts have been issued across much of the Northeast and New England coasts, where forecasters are warning of nearly 3 feet of flooding in some places due to the powerful winds produced by the storm that will soon become a bomb cyclone. Most locations covered by the alerts will see up to 2 feet of flooding.
This comes in the absence of blizzard conditions on the warm side of the dangerous winter storm that is walloping the Midwest and Great Lakes as it begins to spread toward the East Coast ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend.
The FOX Forecast Center said windswept rain is expected Friday in the Northeast as powerful winds blast the region with widespread 50-plus-mph wind gusts.
In addition, 60- to 70-mph gusts cannot be ruled out with the passage of the arctic cold front Friday into Friday night. Some power outages are likely for parts of the Northeast, and more widespread outages are possible in interior portions of the region.
The strong onshore winds at the coast will lead to a flood event along south-facing coasts, especially with the Friday morning high tide.
Flood levels were forecast Wednesday to be among the top 10, and in some cases the top 5, on record along the south shore of Long Island, the Jersey Shore and the Connecticut coast. Freeport was forecast to be at levels that would've come in second behind Superstorm Sandy. On Thursday, forecasts lowered the flood threat a bit because of an expected weakening or change in direction of the winds at the time of high tide.
Even after the rain ends, the dangers will not end. Rapidly dropping temperatures will quickly freeze up any water that remains on the roads, leading to treacherous driving conditions from Friday night into at least Saturday.
Sandy's storm surges reached over 12 feet
The forecast flooding levels for this storm are far below what was experienced during Superstorm Sandy a little more than 10 years ago.
Sandy crashed ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Oct. 29, 2012, killing more than 100 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.
The New York City tri-state area and the Jersey Shore were struck by the core of Sandy, but the superstorm’s effects extended thousands of miles away from its center.
Kings Point, New York, on the north shore of Long Island, recorded a massive storm surge of 12.65 feet. In Manhattan, the water level at Battery Park climbed to nearly 14 feet.
Closer to Sandy's landfall location, the casino-lined boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, suffered damage as almost 9 feet of water rushed onto the barrier island. And the iconic boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, fell into the ocean after it was unable to withstand Sandy's intense storm surge.
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Editors note: An earlier version of this story indicated that the forecast flooding levels would rival Superstorm Sandy. This story has been updated to remove that wording based on the latest forecast details.