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MASSACHUSETTS — Residents and visitors are strongly urged to get prepared for Tropical Storm Henri on Friday night and Saturday, then stay off the roads if at all possible on Sunday, as the storm brings possible hurricane-force winds and up to 8 inches of rain to the state.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday said all travel should be avoided on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard especially.

“We don’t want people to be stuck in traffic on the Cape Cod bridges when the storm is in full force on Sunday,” he said during a Friday news conference.

State campgrounds and public pools will be closing early Saturday and throughout the day Sunday, and the MBTA will run at a reduced schedule designed to serve emergency travel only. Green Line service along the D Line, Mattapan trolley and ferry service will be suspended on Sunday.

Those planning to fly in or out of Logan Airport at any time this weekend and Monday are advised to check with the airlines for flight delays or cancellations.

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“We are asking everyone to take this storm seriously,” state Transportation Director Jamey Tesler said. “The impact of this storm will be widespread. Due to the significant amount of rain and high winds, everyone in the state, if possible, should plan to be at home by Saturday night and plan to stay at home on Sunday.”
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As of Friday afternoon, a hurricane watch and storm surge watch were in place for Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and southeastern Massachusetts. That is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane warning and include most or all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire by Saturday.

Residents are also advised to charge electronic devices, make sure vehicles are sufficiently fueled up and have food supplies that will last for days in the event of a power outage. While National Grid said it will have 3,100 field-based personnel ready as part of its emergency response operations, much of the cleanup and restoration work will not be able to begin in earnest until after the storm exits the region late Sunday. Eversource said it had begun storm preparation this week through patrolling its power lines and cutting back trees and branches that could fall on them and bring them down in a storm of Henri’s magnitude.

“The thing we’re most concerned about is if people don’t take this seriously, and don’t understand the size and the significance of this particular weather pattern, they could end up in a very bad spot,” Baker said. “Four to eight inches (of rain) in one dump is basically a month’s worth in many cases. We are talking about a lot of water.”

With the ground already saturated, and rivers running full, from a historically wet July and Thursday’s tropical downpours, flooding is an even greater concern. Drivers who encounter large puddles in the road or downed electric lines are strongly urged to turn around and drive around them.

Baker said the latest forecast he had been given on Friday made it “pretty clear that this one’s not going to clip us.”

“It’s going to come up through Newport (Rhode Island), maybe veer a little bit west in the general direction of Worcester and then cut right through the Merrimack Valley,” Baker said. “That’s a huge swath of the state.

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