CARIBOU, Maine — A fall nor’easter is expected to bring at least 5 inches of rain to parts of the state over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain began falling Tuesday and was predicted to be heavy at times Wednesday and Thursday. Between 2 and 4 inches of rain is expected in much of the state, with 5 or more inches possible in western, central and coastal Maine before the storm winds down Friday.

“This is a very slow-moving storm, which is why there is so much rain associated with it,” Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou, said Tuesday afternoon. “In addition to the rain, winds up to 35 mph gusting to 45 mph are expected Down East and along the coast.”

The heavy rain is expected to cause rivers and streams to rise, with flooding possible. A flood watch is in effect for southern and western Maine from Wednesday morning through Thursday evening. A flood watch is in effect for central and Down East areas from Thursday morning through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service website. A flood watch means there is potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

With high winds predicted, Maine power companies expect to be kept busy.

“We’re definitely gearing up for it,” Susan Faloon, spokeswoman for Emera Maine, said. “We’ll be hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.”

BDN sports freelancer Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.