- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - A powerful winter storm is strengthening in Massachusetts, with power outages rising.

More than 44,000 are without power, including about 24,000 Eversource customers in southern Plymouth County and Cape Cod.

State officials are closely watching coastal communities. Gov. Charlie Baker says sustained winds of 45 to 50 mph and potential gusts of up to 75 mph bring the threat of moderate flooding during the afternoon high tide.

Forecasters are anticipating up to a foot of snow in the Boston area, 18 inches in central Massachusetts and more than two feet in the Berkshires.

Baker says no serious traffic accidents have been reported.

Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett says the National Guard has 30 specially-equipped vehicles ready to assist stranded motorists or residents trapped by high water.

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