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Tropical Storm Elsa barreled through Massachusetts Friday, bringing heavy rain and wind, along with flooding and street closures. Here’s how it unfolded.

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Live updates from local meteorologists

MBTA commuter rail trains delayed on Worcester line due to flooding — 3:56 p.m.

By Andrew Brinker, Globe staff

Trains on the commuter rail’s Worcester line were delayed beginning shortly after 12 p.m. when flood waters spilled into the railway just east of Framingham.

Five trains were delayed by up to 45 minutes, said Justin Thompson, a spokesperson for commuter rail operator Keolis Commuter Services.

Flood waters reached “up to the railhead at least,” Thompson said, forcing Keolis officials to enact a temporary speed restriction on trains passing through the area. Delays are ongoing as crews work to clear the railway.

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Fierce wind doesn’t deter surfers in Dennis — 2:57 p.m.

By Jack Lyons, Globe correspondent

Lily Monahan, left, and Caitlin Kahaly arrive prepared to surf during Tropical Storm Elsa at West Dennis Beach.
Lily Monahan, left, and Caitlin Kahaly arrive prepared to surf during Tropical Storm Elsa at West Dennis Beach.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Violent winds ripped across West Dennis Beach in Dennis, attracting onlookers for minutes at a time before the onslaught of water and flying sand drove them back to shelter.

But Lily Monahan, 21, wasn’t fazed by the severe weather. She and Caitlin Kahaly, 20, a fellow lifeguard in Dennis, hauled a surfboard out to the sand, hoping to, as Monahan called it, “get tossed around.”

”It’s not going to look pretty,” she said, as she waxed the board down.

The two then picked up the board, turned their faces away from the blast, and marched forward into the ocean. The pair emerged roughly 15 minutes later.

”It was pretty rough,” Monahan said. “We had fun though.”

Elsa rain floods Route 146 in Worcester — 2:47 p.m.

By Maria Elena Little Endara and Andrew Brinker, Globe correspondents

Route 146 in Worcester experienced serious flooding after Tropical Storm Elsa barreled through Friday afternoon.

About 5 to 6 inches of water were causing problems on the roadway, according the Worcester Fire Department.

Heavy rain from Elsa resulted in street flooding in parts of the Green Island neighborhood as well as Quinsigamond Avenue, which connects to Route 146, according to the Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks. The department advises motorists to avoid these areas until later this afternoon.

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About 11,000 customers without power in Mass. as Elsa is downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone — 2:10 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

About 11,300 customers were without power in Massachusetts on Friday afternoon as Tropical Storm Elsa was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by forecasters.

A map from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency showed the power outages in the state mostly concentrated around Cape Cod and the islands. Mashpee was seeing the worst outages with about 15 percent of customers without power.

The outages were reported as forecasters downgraded Elsa to a post-tropical cyclone.

Elsa’s wind whips up sand and waves on Nantucket’s south shore — 1:45 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Globe staff

NANTUCKET — At Nobadeer Beach on Nantucket’s south shore, Elsa’s 40mph gusts whipped sand and spun up five-foot swells as a crew of lifeguards ran to the water’s edge.

The island’s fleet of lifesavers said they weren’t working — just on-call in case the weather took a turn for the better — so they met up with flippers in case they got the urge to swim.

With the storm coming in from the south, Nantucket harbor, the protected port on the north side of the island, was relatively calm. The forecast didn’t indicate a long-lasting storm, so boat owners didn’t need to haul their vessels back from their moorings.

Elsa did prompt the Hy-Line and Steamship Authority to cancel most boats to and from the island beginning around 9 a.m. Friday morning. Intermittent rain and strong winds began shortly after.

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MassDOT lowers speed limit on Mass. Pike due to storm — 1:34 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has lowered the speed limit on the Mass. Pike from Framingham through Boston due to the storm, the agency tweeted on Friday.

Blackstone River swells in Rhode Island — 1:03 p.m.

By Carlos R. Muñoz, Globe staff

Though it has not reached a flood stage, water was rising in the Blackstone River on Friday as Tropical Storm Elsa moved through. Here’s a look at the water levels:

Elsewhere in the state, people took advantage of the empty docks in Providence along the hurricane barrier.

In Boston, visitors to the city don’t let Elsa dampen their plans — 2:16 p.m.

By Julia Carlin, Globe correspondent

Outside the New England Aquarium, Steve and Marianne Gunther-Murphy sat under a white tent that shielding them from the rain dumping down. They came from California to visit family and spent the rainy day with their grandson, Cal. As West Coasters, they’re not used to weather like this.

“There was one other time when we came in the winter we saw it storming, but it didn’t stay all day like it will today,” said Steve.

Allanna Matthews was also in the tent staying dry. Matthews is the director of Weymouth Cross Roads summer program, an enrichment program that does weekly field trips.

She and her 15 students, ages 5-12, enjoyed a day watching sharks at the aquarium.

”Nobody complained about the rain all day… We’re just happy to be able to be back outside after the pandemic,” Matthews said.

Photos and videos show New York pounded by heavy rain from Elsa — 12:42 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Fast-moving Tropical Storm Elsa hit the New York City region with heavy rain and high winds Friday, toppling trees and hindering some rail service as it churned its way toward New England.

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Maximum sustained winds from the storm peaked near 50 mph as it moved past New York City and across the eastern tip of Long Island, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 a.m. update.

Water floods Dikeman Street in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Water floods Dikeman Street in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.Michael M. Santiago/Getty

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe staff

Some communities in Massachusetts are already seeing several inches of water in streets as Tropical Storm Elsa brought heavy rain to New England Friday morning.

At about 9 a.m., the weather service estimated up to 1 inch of rain had already fallen as “bands of moderate to heavy rain” were passing through the “Providence to Worcester corridor and Worcester to Framingham Corridor, and surrounding communities.” Forecasters anticipated 1 to 3 inches of rain in the next few hours and warned of impending flash flooding.

By Ivy Scott, Globe correspondent

SCITUATE ― Scituate Light, which celebrates its 210th birthday this year, was closed to visitors on Friday.

Della Shepherd, a Scituate resident, said that the lighthouse was typically only open on select days of the year, as the building still houses the local lighthouse keeper. Still, she said, gesturing as two giggling children ran by in raincoats, a few people still opted to brave the weather to get a look at the Light’s exterior.

Shepherd said she brought all her plants inside on Friday morning in preparation for the storm, but said that based on the steady drizzle, “it’s probably not going to be as bad as they predicted, knock on wood.”

The town sent out a notice to residents on Thursday night warning of heavy rainfall and “even a possible tornado,” Shepherd said. But by the morning, she was pretty confident that there wouldn’t be any serious flooding by the lighthouse.

”I don’t think the winds are heading this way,” she said.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Acting Mayor Kim Janey urged Boston drivers to stay off the roads as Tropical Storm Elsa moves through the region.

Janey asked drivers to consider public transportation and if they must go out to remain attentive to road conditions.


Meteorologist reports 8 inches of street flooding in Norwood — 10:12 a.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Water is beginning to rise in parts of Massachusetts, and a local meteorologist reported about 8 inches of street flooding in Norwood.

Kristie Smith of the National Weather Service Boston tweeted that water was reaching the undercarriage of sedans on Garfield Avenue in Norwood.

Drivers are urged to avoid trying to pass through flood waters.

In Chatham, few out on the water but authorities are prepared — 9:59 a.m.

By Jack Lyons, Globe correspondent

CHATHAM — At Stage Harbor in Chatham, Harbormaster Stuart Smith didn’t see many boats go out Friday morning.

”There’s been a few people going out, but they don’t go far,” he said.

Elsa will move quickly through the Cape, he said, and Smith anticipates that by dinnertime, the region will have cleared up.

Still, anyone who takes to the sea should be on guard in the coming days.

”Swimmers and small boat operators need to be aware that the winds may subside, but you’ve still got leftover wave action,” Smith said.

Captain Dave Ready of the Chatham Fire Department said his force had boosted its staffing for the day in anticipation of downed trees and power lines.

In addition, the crew is also eyeing the potential for incidents at sea.

”We’re prepared today, just like any day, to respond to any water or boat emergencies,” Ready said, adding that the department works closely with the Chatham Harbormaster and the U.S. Coast Guard in those instances.

Flash flood warning issued for Boston area — 9:42 a.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

A flash flood warning has been issued for the Boston area as rain from Elsa moves in.

The warning was issued Eastern Massachusetts shortly after the National Weather Service posted similar warnings in the western and central parts of the state.

The Eastern Massachusetts warnings included an area that stretches from Wilmington all the way south to Marshfield.

The warning is in effect until 3:30 p.m. Forecasters warned people to avoid driving through flood waters.

Power outages begin as effects from Elsa arrive — 9:20 a.m.

By Christina Prignano and Brian Amaral, Globe staff

Power outages briefly reached nearly 7,000 Massachusetts customers Friday morning, according to a map from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

The map showed the outages scattered around the state. Crews have been brought in from elsewhere to assist with restoring power when it does go out, the state’s utilities said ahead of the storm.

In Rhode Island, National Grid was reporting some 500 power outages concentrated in Charlestown and about 600 in the Westerly/Hopkinton area.

Providence hurricane barrier not expected to be activated for Elsa, officials say — 9:10 a.m.

By Brian Amaral and Carlos R. Muñoz, Globe staff

The Rhode Island Army Corps of Engineers said that because no coastal flooding is anticipated from Elsa, officials do not expect to activate the hurricane barrier in Providence.

The main concerns with Elsa are expected to be high winds and heavy rainfall that causes flooding of streets and rivers, forecasters have said.

Still, officials in Rhode Island urged people to be prepared.

“More than anything this is a really good reminder to everyone to be ready for hurricane season,” said Clara Decerbo, director of the Providence Emergency Management Agency. “Go over your family preparedness plans, and check in with work to make sure of their plans for hurricane season. Make sure you have your kit prepared for family, loved ones, and pets.”

Flash flood warning issued for parts of Western Mass., flooding hits Connecticut — 9:04 a.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

The National Weather Service on Friday morning expanded its flash flood warnings to include parts of Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut as Elsa moves through the area.

The warning extends from Blandford east to Monson and remains in effect until 2:15 p.m. It includes the cities of Springfield and Holyoke.

Much of Massachusetts is currently under a flash flood watch.

In Connecticut Friday morning, residents were dealing with street flooding and road closures. Police in the coastal Connecticut town of Darien near the New York border urged residents not to travel unless necessary as flooding stranded cars.

Fog in Cambridge on Friday morning — 8:06 a.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Fog covered view a of Boston on the Longfellow Bridge viewed from Cambridge.
Fog covered view a of Boston on the Longfellow Bridge viewed from Cambridge.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Conditions were foggy and visibility low in the Boston area early Friday morning as residents braced for Tropical Storm Elsa’s heavy rain and wind to arrive. From Cambridge along the Charles River, the view of Boston was obscured.

Flood warnings in Rhode Island — 7:45 a.m.

By Brittany Bowker and Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Shortly before 6 a.m., forecasters warned of rising waters in the Pawtuxet River in Cranston, cresting up to 11 feet by Friday afternoon, a “moderate” flood stage level. The National Weather Service said streets and homes in the areas surrounding the river could be affected.

Elsa is expected to bring heavy rainfall to an area that has already seen several inches of precipitation over the last week.

Rainfall begins as Tropical Storm Elsa moves up the East Coast — 2:00 a.m.

By Brittany Bowker, Globe staff

Signs of Tropical Storm Elsa could be seen early Friday morning as rain began to fall across the region.

The storm moved up the East Coast overnight, spurring tornado warnings in southern Delaware and and New Jersey, with reports of 70-plus mile per hour winds along the New Jersey coast. Forecasters said the system would “lift northeast” toward Rhode Island and the south coast of Massachusetts between 7 and 11 a.m. Moderate rainfall was expected between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., with heavier precipitation predicted between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

By Globe staff

With severe weather in the forecast, here’s a look at what to expect, according to Boston-area meteorologists.

As Tropical Storm Elsa took aim at New England, communities on the South Shore and Cape Cod raced to keep ahead of the storm that forecasters say will bring high winds, flash flooding, rough surf, and several inches of rain to parts of Massachusetts.

Beaches were closed and residents were urged to take precautions as the powerful storm moved north along the East Coast from Florida, dumping buckets of rain, whipping up winds and roiling seas, and even spawning tornados in its wake.

By Travis Andersen, Globe staff

With Tropical Storm Elsa expected to slam into Massachusetts late Thursday night, possibly bringing flooding and power outages in its wake, authorities in the state’s coastal communities earlier in the day urged residents to protect their homes and be safe in the water, with some beaches already announcing Friday closures.

On Nantucket early Thursday afternoon, Harbormaster Sheila Lucey’s office tweeted that swimmers at local beaches should stay safe and aware, with rip currents and swells already starting to increase before Elsa’s expected arrival.