Weather service warns drivers of 'hazardous travel' during evening commute as storm brings heavy snowfall to eastern Mass.

Weather service warns drivers of ‘hazardous travel’ during evening commute as storm brings heavy snowfall to eastern Mass.

Thousands of customers across the region lost power, including some 12,000 customers in Massachusetts, primarily in Berkshire, Middlesex, Worcester, and Franklin counties, as of about 3:30 pm, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

A coastal flood advisory has also been issued from Cape Cod to the South Shore, the weather service said.

Storm-fueled tides forced the temporary closure of Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester, and caused some minor flooding near Long Wharf in downtown Boston, Plymouth and Salisbury, according to WCVB-TV.

The Boston Public Works Department had deployed 460 pieces of equipment Monday afternoon to treat and clear city streets, the department said in a Tweet posted at 3:13 pm

In New Hampshire, more than 47,000 Eversource utility customers were without power around 3:40 pm, according to the company.

In neighboring Maine, state offices are closed and turbulent weather has knocked out power to some 28,000 Central Maine Power Company customers, according to accounts on social media.

Central New Hampshire and Maine are expected to see up to 12 inches of snow by the time the storm fades Monday night, according to the weather service. Northwest winds will increase in the area through the afternoon, which could lead to additional outages.

Maine State Police said they have responded to 64 crashes on the Maine Turnpike by 2 pm Monday.

Conditions were worse in New Hampshire, according to State Police in that state whose troopers responded to 90 crashes since 5 am Monday.

Forecasters at the weather service office in Gray, Maine, wrote that the system will fade late Monday.

“This system will then depart the area late Monday, leaving behind gusty winds and scattered snow showers on Tuesday,” forecasters wrote.

Forecasters cautioned whiteout conditions are possible in southeastern New Hampshire as the snowfall intensifies Monday afternoon.

In western Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the snow bands have mostly moved eastwards, the weather service office in Albany reported around 2 p.m. Monday.

Boston Public Schools opened as scheduled Monday, but public schools were closed in Fitchburg, Gardner, Greenfield, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, North Adams, Pittsfield, Shutesbury, Winchendon, and Worcester and in the Ashburnham Westminster, Athol-Royalston, Ayer-Shirley , Gateway, Narragansett, Quabbin, and Wachusett regional school districts, according to online postings by district officials. Schools in Worcester and Shrewsbury are also closed.

The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike between Palmer and the New York border was lowered to 40 miles an hour, according to the state transportation department, which on Monday afternoon said it had about 1,107 pieces of snow-fighting equipment deployed statewide.

The weather service also noted that on this day in 2005, snowfall was being tallied in feet, not inches. “The “Blizzard of 2005″ was winding down after dumping 1 to 3 feet of snow across much of southern New England, the weather agency wrote on Twitter.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.

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