Hurricane Sandy is expected to make good on threats of strong, damaging winds, widespread power outages and coastal flooding soon as she moves toward the region.
"Because it's such a large storm it has a large wind field and its impacts will be felt far from the center of the storm," said Lance Franck, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
Many Boston area residents took to Twitter to talk about the incoming storm and their preparations (see Storify below).
The expectation of severe weather led to the cancelation of dozens of schools, meetings and events yesterday as people prepared for the worst. Bunker Hill Community College, North Shore Community College and Curry College were among those that canceled Monday classes.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino urged non-essential city workers to stay home and canceled Boston Public Schools for Monday. Gov. Deval Patrick also urged the closing of all schools and colleges and urged private employers to keep workers home. He also said state offices would be closed Monday to help keep people from traveling and the roads clear for emergency services.
Lynn officials also canceled school and other coastal towns offered storm supplies such as sandbags available to residents.
"We're going to get through this. We are as well prepared as we possibly can be," Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Framingham. He declared a state of emergency on Saturday ahead of the storm.
Forecasters predicted that Sandy, once a Category 2 hurricane with winds reaching 110 mph, would bring strong winds to the Boston area. Wind gusts would peak between 60 and 80 mph and Boston could see about an inch of rain. Forecasters said that areas west of Boston would see more rain – up to 3 inches – and slightly weaker wind speeds.
While some people believe having Goldfish crackers and beer on hand will be enough to ride out the storm, Franck urged that people have batteries for flashlights in the event of a power outage and secure loose yard items that may be picked up by the strong winds.
Tips from the MBTA
The MBTA said Sunday that they planned to operate normal service Sunday morning "for as long as it is safe to do so during the storm." The T warned that riders should be prepared for delays and disruptions as the conditions change.
The agency also warned riders to take extra precautions while using public transportation:
*Check weather forecasts before going out
*Limit travel at the height of the storm, which is predicted to be around noon Monday
*Use caution on wet surfaces, especially platforms, stairs, and escalators
*At outdoor stations, take cover if possible due to high winds forecasted during the storm
The National Weather Service in Taunton said Sandy was expected to make landfall along the Central New Jersey coast sometime Monday night. However, because of her size, her impact will be felt throughout the region before she hits land, according to the weather service.
*Wind gusts of more than 50 mph were expected to breeze through the region starting at 8 a.m. Monday.
*The worst of the storm is expected to hit the Boston area Monday afternoon into the night. Wind gusts could be between 60 and 80 mph.
*Tuesday is expected to be a transition day where things begin to improve, said Lance Franck, a NWS meteorologist. It will remain breezy until Friday.
Power to the powerless
If the region loses power, it’s likely your phone battery will soon be turning red limiting your texting, tweeting, Facebook and overall Internet time. But don’t worry. Your life isn’t over. Here are some of Metro’s favorite and everlasting ideas for you to pass the time while your power is out:
*Play a board game. When was the last time you actually sat with some friends and played a board game? Remember when you would beg your parents to play "Clue," "Monopoly" and "Candy Land"? Well now is your chance to do that. Sure, you'll have to do it by candle light, but isn't that better? Add some drinks to the mix and before you know it, you're a few hours closer to getting your power back. Just don't burn down your home.
*Read a book. Your phone, Kindle, television and computer are likely dead or dying. It's the perfect opportunity to give your eyes a rest from all of that screen time. Break out the candles and dive in to that book you've been meaning to get to.
*Get some rest! With everyone's busy and hectic schedules it's a great break from the grueling pace of daily life. Get a good night's rest and hopefully the power will be back on by morning so you can get back to draining your phone by endlessly posting on Twitter and Facebook how refreshed you feel.
How will Sandy compare to Irene?
Irene hit the Northeast in August 2011. As of Sunday, that storm ranked as the fifth costliest hurricane in U.S. history and caused at least 56 deaths.
Damage estimates throughout the U.S. were estimated near $15.6 billion.
The MBTA suspended all public transportation at 8 a.m. last Aug. 28 during the storm’s descent on New England.
This time last year a Halloween nor'easter. Now this.
Last year's Halloween season brought us a haunted blizzard, and this year we're getting a haunted hurricane. The Bay State saw about a half-million power outages, six deaths, and high winds. While Boston only got a couple inches of snow, some parts of Western Massachusetts got over a foot.
See how Boston area residents are reacting on Twitter to Sandy's arrival: