Winds, tide, freezing temperatures mark first storm of 2014

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Packing frigid temperatures, high winds, and nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas, the first nor’easter of 2014 walloped the region Thursday, with the threat of dangerous high tides prompting requests for voluntary evacuations in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for eastern Essex County, Plymouth County, and Cape Cod, and placed the rest of the state under a winter storm warning through the night and into midmorning Friday, when the snow is expected to slow.

The threat of heavy snowfall and wind-chill temperatures that could dip to 30 below zero prompted Governor Deval Patrick to announce that state offices will remain closed Friday. He encouraged private businesses to follow suit.

Patrick, speaking at the state’s emergency management headquarters in Framingham, did not issue an explicit driving ban, but urged people to continue to stay off the roads.

That bite, though brutal, might be temporary, however. The National Weather service said temperatures could soar to nearly 50 degrees Monday.

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