BOSTON (AP) — People across the East Coast are preparing for a major Nor'easter to hit the region.

Heavy rain, intermittent snow and high winds with gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour are expected as the storm moves up the Eastern seaboard, beginning in New York on Thursday evening.

The governor of Massachusetts says he's activating 200 National Guard members to help with the storm.

The U.S. Coast Guard is advising boaters to exercise "vigilance and extreme caution."

Authorities recommend residents of coastal communities be prepared to evacuate if necessary in advance of Friday morning's high tide.

Rain is expected to begin in Connecticut and New York City on Thursday. The National Weather Service says all of Rhode Island will be under flood and high wind watches from Friday to Sunday morning.