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Flash flood watch in effect for Southern New England Wednesday and Thursday

Heavy rains are expected to blanket Southern New England on Wednesday and Thursday.
Heavy rains are expected to blanket Southern New England on Wednesday and Thursday.National Weather Service Boston

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida move closer to Southern New England, forecasters say flash flooding may be possible in the coming days as the already rain-soaked region braces for heavy precipitation.

A flash flood watch will be in place starting Wednesday afternoon and continuing into Thursday, with 3-4 inches of rain expected to hit Connecticut, Rhode Island, and portions of southeastern Massachusetts, the National Weather Service said.

The flood watch has expanded North from forecasters’ initial predictions, now encompassing portions of the Boston area and all of southern Massachusetts, along with southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands. Torrential rainfall is expected in parts of the state from Wednesday night into Thursday.


Southern New England could see pockets of “significant” flash flooding as well as overflowing rivers and streams between Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, the weather service said.

“While the axis of heaviest rain is uncertain, the potential exists for a narrow swath of very significant flooding,” forecasters wrote.

“Isolated 6 inch amounts” of rain will be possible, forecasters said. Urban and poor drainage areas are at risk for flooding, along with rivers and streams that are already running at levels higher than normal.

Most of Massachusetts, including the Cape and Islands, is expected to see between 1.5 and 3 inches of rain, though a few areas in the southeast, including Plymouth and New Bedford, could see up to 4 inches.

Connecticut and Rhode island are expected to take the brunt of the rainfall, with forecasters expecting between 3 and 4 inches there.

Hurricane Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, tearing the roofs off buildings and drenching some parts of the state in almost 16 inches of rain, according to the Associated Press. Now a tropical depression, Ida is hovering over Alabama and Tennessee as it tracks towards the Northeast.


Andrew Brinker can be reached at andrew.brinker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewnbrinker.