Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who is hospitalized with a virus, announced that Boston’s public schools would close Monday.
“I urge Boston employers to assist the city in keeping residents safe, and allow employees to work from home,” the mayor said in a statement.
To offer parents a place to bring children, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families will open the Curtis Hall, Hyde Park, Paris Street, and Tobin community centers from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.
The American Red Cross said shelters also would open in Fall River and Weymouth.
On Cape Cod, the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee said three shelters will open Monday as warranted, at Nauset Regional High School in Eastham, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in Yarmouth, and Sandwich High School in Sandwich. The latter two include animal shelters.
Logan Airport plans to remain open, said Danny Levy, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which announced on its website, however, that “several airlines have already canceled flights.”
Because of anticipated delays and cancellations, Levy suggested travelers check with the airlines before heading to the airport.
The MBTA plans to operate normal bus, subway, commuter rail, and RIDE service Monday “for as long as it is safe to do so,” spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail, but commuter boats will not run.
Amtrak said it canceled nearly all Eastern Seaboard service for Monday. On their websites, the Greyhound and Peter Pan bus companies listed service suspension on lines south and west of New York City, and in some instances north to Boston.
The website for the Steamship Authority said the company expects to suspend service Monday into Tuesday from the Cape to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Hy-Line Cruises canceled its Monday schedule.
Caroline Pretyman, an NStar spokeswoman, said the company activated its emergency response plan as of midnight Friday and called in crews from across the country.
Nearly 4,000 NStar workers are in place in Massachusetts, she said, assisted by about 200 outside crews and 132 tree crews.
David Graves, a National Grid spokesman, said in an e-mail that several thousand utility employees had storm assignments, and that supplemental crews were arriving.
Mayor Jon Mitchell of New Bedford said Sunday that no mandatory evacuation order is in place, but he recommended that residents in low-lying areas in the city’s south end leave voluntarily. He said a shelter was scheduled to open at Keith Middle School on Sunday night, and a second will open on Monday morning.
Schools will close on Monday; officials have not decided if they will open Tuesday, or if streets will be sufficiently free of debris Wednesday for trick-or-treating.
“Far be it from me to want to cancel Halloween,” Mitchell said, “but what we’re going to do is to see how it goes.”
On Capitol Street off West Beach in New Bedford on Sunday morning, 80-year-old Albert Correia had boarded up all the windows on his one-story ranch house. Correia had brought his lawn furniture inside and said forecasts of high wind and rain had him on edge. “With the reports we get from radio and TV, you would say, ‘My God,’ ” Correia said.
People should think just that, said Haydu of the National Weather Service. Forecasters are particularly concerned about the duration of the storm, which is prompting storm warnings up the New England coast to Canada.
“There’s going to be 18 to 24 hours of strong winds,” Haydu said.
Hurricane Sandy, he added, is “becoming a very, very large storm and we expect the wind to be spread over a very large area. This isn’t something you can say, ‘This might miss us.’ No, this is not going to miss us.”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at email@example.com. Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Globe staff writer David Dahl contributed to this report, as did Globe correspondents Evan Allen, Jessica Bartlett, Natalie Feulner, Jaclyn Reiss, and Martha Shanahan.