BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - "The National Weather service projects that Hurricane Sandy will reach Massachusetts as early as Sunday night and may linger over the region until Wednesday morning," said Governor Deval Patrick at a Friday noon news conference. As Hurricane Sandy moves up the east coast, Massachusetts officials are taking no chances. Governor Patrick said the category one hurricane is expected to turn into a tropical storm by the time it hits the northeast. Massachusetts could get 6 to 10 inches of rain, damaging winds, and power outages.
"All of the utilities have put their crews on call," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan. "It has been very, made very clear at the highest levels of the utilities …that there is a very high expectation in terms of the response on the ground and that's how this storm will be measured."
Each utility company has submitted an emergency response plan to deal with possible black outs; tree and line crews are coordinating to respond to any downed trees or power lines; and each community will have a utility company contact to learn the most up-to-date information. Governor Patrick urges you to prepare ahead of the storm's arrival.
"Make sure you have a flashlight, batteries, sufficient non-perishable food and water, first-aid kit, any necessary medications on hand in the even that we are without power for a period of time," said Patrick.
The governor also advises you to fill up gas tanks and withdraw money. He says you can reduce storm damage by clearing clogged drains by your home, trimming dead tree limbs and locking windows and doors.
Utility companies are using the web and mobile phones to keep customers updated. For instance, you can text "storm" to National Grid and NStar is offering a mobile phone application. You can also get updates from the state through their official website at www.mass.gov or by calling 211.