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Cities and towns west of Boston prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Laura Franzini  October 28, 2012 06:04 PM

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As cities and towns west of Boston braced for Hurricane Sandy to make landfall, schools canceled classes across the region and public safety officials prepared for high winds and heavy rain.

For the latest list of school closings, go here.

Groton decided to postpone the start of its Fall Town Meeting from Monday until Saturday, and Needham was still debating whether to go ahead with its Town Meeting Monday night.

Meanwhile, communities throughout the region posted emergency-preparedness information and guides on their websites.

"The likelihood that the weather will create hazardous conditions for voters on Monday makes it prudent to take this unusual step," Groton Town Manager Mark Haddad said in an announcing that the start of Town Meeting would be postponed from Monday until Saturday.

Needham has asked the public to check its website at noon Monday to see whether Town Meeting will take place as scheduled Monday night.

Newton canceled school Monday, closed City Hall except for non-essential personnel, and delayed its trash pickup for one day this week.

Cambridge police issued an advisory Friday afternoon that the storm could cause flooding and downed trees and power lines. As a precaution, the department advised residents to remove valuables from their basements in case of flooding.

Belmont has a hurricane evacuation webpage that includes general information about hurricanes and associated terms; what residents should know about hurricanes in New England; and steps to take before, during, and after a hurricane.

Lexington’s Department of Public Works is asking residents to assist with clearing leaves from storm drains in front of their property in preparation for possible heavy rains early next week.

Concord sends residents to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's site as a reference for tips during severe weather and other community emergencies. The town also has an Emergency Notification System set up for which residents can sign up and receive notices by phone and/or email of town-wide alerts.

Needham's emergency guide recommends that residents follow @TownofNeedham on Twitter for emergency and other community alerts, and also utilizes a "reverse-911" call system to notify residents. Up-to-date information is posted on the town's website, and the Town Hall telephone answering system provides information about the status of the town during an emergency.

Wellesley's website offers links to an emergency preparedness checklist, a list of defibrillators in the town, and a brochure with helpful contact information for local emergency responders and safety tips.

Arlington’s Fire Department is recommending residents secure outdoor objects that can be blown around by high winds, as Hurricane Sandy continues on its path toward the eastern US.

Framingham town officials are gearing up for Hurricane Sandy’s predicted appearance in New England next week, and are urging residents to prepare for power outages.

The town of Natick is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, and is encouraging all residents to do the same. Downed trees, branches and power lines are expected to be the greatest impacts from Sandy in Natick, the town says on its website, which lists measures residents should take to stay safe and weather the storm.

Laura E. Franzini can be reached at laura.franzini@globe.com.

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