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State urges residents to prepare as storm approaches

Posted by Matt Byrne  October 26, 2012 10:57 AM

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Emergency management officials in Massachusetts are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, a category 2 hurricane churning through the Caribbean that will likely bring strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding to New England.

But where Sandy will make landfall is still unknown. Meteorologists predict the storm could come ashore anywhere between Virginia and Connecticut, the Globe reported Friday.

"Massachusetts is still likely to sustain significant impacts from this storm including damaging winds, associated power outages, and freshwater and coastal flooding," the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The effects, MEMA said, could be "historic."

"Early planning and preparation can be the key to your safety," said Kurt Schwartz, MEMA director, in a statement Wednesday. "It is important to use your time wisely and not wait until the last minute to ensure your family's safety."

Residents should prepare for power outages, urban flooding, downed trees, and impassible roads.

If Sandy strikes the coast closer to Southern New England, residents, particularly near the coast, should shutter windows and glass doors, elevate valuable items in basements, and trim trees that if felled could pose a danger to homes or vehicles.

Residents in low-lying areas, or in neighborhoods with a history of flooding, should prepare for up to several inches of rain.

Although Sandy's landfall is unknown -- the storm is tracking on a highly unusual path -- residents in Southern New England will not escape unscathed.

In the Caribbean, 29 people have been reported dead, and countless structures have been destroyed.

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