Nor'easter to bring 7 inches of snow as coastal flood warning is issued

A late-winter storm impacts the mid-Atlantic before delivering A late-winter storm impacts the mid-Atlantic before delivering more snow to parts of the Northeast. (March 6, 2013) Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

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A two-phase attack of the weather was bringing high winds and coastal flooding overnight into Thursday, as up to 7 inches of snow was expected to accumulate by Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Light rain fell on and off Wednesday until about 9 p.m., when snowfall was reported, the service said. Wind gusts hit 56 mph off Lido Beach and 51 mph off Captree State Park, the service said.

High winds were expected to down power lines, and that's what happened soon after the storm turned to mostly snow.

By 12:50 a.m. Thursday, nearly 500 customers had no power, the Long Island Power authority's outage map showed.

Strong winds were reported all day under a wind advisory forecasting gusts of up to 50 mph, the service's Upton office said.

By Wednesday night, gusts of 56 mph were reported off Lido Beach and 51 mph off Captree State Park, the service said. The wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday.

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Long Island officials and meteorologists were also on the watch overnight for coastal flooding. The weather service had upgraded its coastal flood forecast Wednesday from watch to warning, in effect until 9 a.m. Thursday.

Water levels were expected to rise 2.5 to 3.5 feet above normal at high tide and waves were expected to crest at 15 feet in the Atlantic Ocean, causing beach erosion.