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Heavy rain could slow Thursday morning commute

A woman hopped over a puddle after a heavy rain fell in Davis Square on Wednesday. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Scattered downpours across Massachusetts continued into Wednesday night, and forecasters warned more heavy rain could arrive in time for the early morning commute.

A flash-flood watch remains in effect until 6 a.m. in eastern Massachusetts, and up to three inches of rain could fall in parts of Greater Boston by early Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Frank Nocera, a meteorologist for the weather service in Taunton, said one to two inches of rain is likely by early morning.

But he added, “It would not be shocking if some areas got up to three inches.”

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The rainfall could impact the first wave of commuters, he said.

“It could impact early commuters,” Nocera said. “especially those commuting around 5 a.m..”

While less than one inch of rain had fallen in Boston as of 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Cape Cod had two inches of rain that contributed to minor flooding, he said.

Flash floods during the afternoon made highways and local roads impassable in parts of Barnstable, Dennis and Wellfleet, according to the weather service. Earlier Wednesday, a wave of severe thunderstorms crossed a large part of Massachusetts, knocking out power to more than 2,500 customers across the state, with the largest number concentrated in Bristol County, officials said.

By 3:30 p.m., the number of people without power had dropped to around 600, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported.

“MEMA is not aware of any significant issues from storms today and we did not receive any requests for assistance from communities,” MEMA spokesman Christopher Besse said in an e-mail.

While Lawrence suffered “no major damage,” Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said, Wednesday’s storms did affect some buildings and roads in the area.

“We had some minor street flooding,” Moriarty said. “Some streets were blocked, couple of ceilings collapsed.”

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He said the Red Cross was called to one multifamily home that suffered “a lot of water damage throughout” but said most of the city hadn’t been hit hard by the rain.

“It’s actually been pretty quiet for a big storm,” Moriarty said. “It’s getting better.”


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.