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Gov. Patrick Urges Residents To Stay Off Roads During Storm

Rodrique Ngowi, Associated Press
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This car spun out on the Mass Pike in Natick, January 2, 2014. (Photo by Michelle Roberts-WBZ-TV)

This car spun out on the Mass Pike in Natick, January 2, 2014. (Photo by Michelle Roberts-WBZ-TV)

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Another winter storm began hitting southern New England on Saturday afternoon and meteorologists said the region will experience heavy snow, strong winds and blizzard conditions near the Massachusetts coast before the storm clears out on Sunday.

The National Weather Service said Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island will bear the brunt of the storm, with 10 to 14 inches of snow.

“Connecticut will see heaviest snowfall amounts near the Rhode Island border, with lesser amounts as you head further west,” meteorologist William Babcock said. “So there might be 8 to 10 inches right along the Rhode Island border, maybe 4 to 6 around Willimantic and 2 to 4 around Hartford.”

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At its peak, the storm will dump snow at the rate of up to 3 inches per hour, Babcock said.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick urged drivers to stay off the roads from 5 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday, and said “it won’t be possible to keep up with the clearing of the roads” during the storm.

MassDOT is waiving tolls on the Tobin Bridge, Airport tunnels in Boston and I-90 in Allston/Brighton until 6 a.m. Sunday morning. The speed limit on the Mass. Pike has been reduced to 40 mph.

The storm is expected to spawn blizzard conditions in several spots along the eastern Massachusetts coastline, including Cape Ann, Hingham, Cape Cod and surrounding islands.

“These areas could be seeing winds reaching up to 70mph, blowing snow and creating extremely poor visibility,” Babcock said. “People should be preparing for deteriorating conditions … People should be ready to stay off the roads and the good thing is a lot of this will be at night, when people are normally off the roads.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

The Rhode Island coast areas north and northwest of Boston will experience winds of up to 45mph that will blow the snow and create chilly conditions.

People who have to venture outside should be prepared to encounter strong winds and temperatures that will be in the lower 20s, Babcock said.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced that the city will deploy more than 600 snow plows, trucks and other equipment by Saturday evening to deal with the storm. He said additional police officers, firefighters and paramedics will be on hand throughout the storm to ensure public safety.

Conditions will start to improve on Sunday, when the sky will clear out, said Babcock, the meteorologist.

Still, temperatures will stay below freezing and winds will blow at 15 to 30 mph, Babcock said.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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