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US East Coast braces for powerful windstorm with snow, rain

Vast areas in US East Coast, including capital city Washington D.C. and Boston, are bracing for sporadic snow, heavy rain and powerful winds with gusts that could even approach 70 mile per hour (112 kilometers per hour), according to the National Weather Service.

A high wind warning will be in effect for most of the Washington D.C. area, from the Potomac Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay and from midnight Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday.

Parts of northeast Maryland is also under the High Wind Watch.

Downed trees, power outages in some areas and complicated commutes are expected on Friday, which could be the windiest day in the US capital area since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

“The reason this is a High Wind Warning, not just an advisory, is because we're talking about pretty much all day tomorrow," said Storm Team 4 meteorologist Matt Ritter, who expects the stronger gusts to be "in some of the higher elevations and out towards Chesapeake Bay."

Damaging winds, moderate to major coastal flooding, rain, and snowfall are in the mix, CBS Boston reported, adding the storm could bring six inches of snow to parts of Massachusetts.

Ahead of the storm, many airlines have issued travel waivers to allow passengers to change their flights without penalty, said the report.

Xinhua / PNA