Governor Deval Patrick has declared a State of Emergency for Massachusetts and is urging residents to stay home if possible. Patrick has closed all state offices and ordered all schools in the state closed as well. A complete list of school closings is available here at WHMP.com.
A high wind watch is in effect from 6 a.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. 22news Storm Team Meterologist Brian Lappis tells WHMP news we can expect sustained winds no higher than 30 to 35 miles per hour today, with higher gusts. But he does not expect storm damage to be as severe as last October's snowstorm. He says the worst of the winds should be felt from about 2 p.m. Monday through 2 a.m. Tuesday. Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall in Central New Jersey later Monday.
Dozens of FEMA trucks have arrived at Westover Air Base in Chicopee in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. They contain tarps, water, industrial generators, and MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat. Officials say Westover is a good staging location for the Northeast because it's far from the shore, and in the center of the six-state New England region.
Northampton Mayor David narkewicz says the city's emergency operations center is up and running. Residents can get more information at Northamptonma.gov. The American Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at the Smith Vocational School in Northampton as of 11 p.m. Sunday. Residents headed to the shelter are advised to bring a blanket, pillow, medicine and personal hygiene items.
Easthampton municipal offices are closed today but essential personnel must report. Greenfield town employees are expected to report to work Monday. Town officials are keeping in touch with residents in low-lying areas that may be prone to flooding. Greenfield emergency officials will hold a meeting at 11 a.m. Monday to regroup. South Hadley's special town meeting scheduled for Monday evening is being postponed.
Amtrak has suspended service throughout the Northeast, and Logan and Bradley Airport officials urge passengers to check flight schedules before leaving home for the airport.
Along the Massachusetts coast, 20 to 30 foot waves and flooding are expected. State officials urge residents to stay away from the coast.
Stay with WHMP news throughout the storm and its aftermath. We'll have updates throughout the day and night as needed on the air, at WHMP.com, and at the WHMP Facebook page.