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Gov. Patrick: State ‘Holding Our Own’ as Sandy Continues Hitting State

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WGGB) — Noting that the Commonwealth is not out of the woods yet, Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick says that

At an afternoon briefing at the Mass. Emergency Management Agency in Framingham, Patrick, along with other emergency officials, said that the state was “holding our own” but that

Patrick noted that as of 4:00 p.m., he was not ready to make a call on whether to close state government on Tuesday. He says that that determination will be made as the night moves on.

Residents are continued to be urged to stay off the roads and stay indoors, as debris, trees and tree limbs, and wires may be coming down, making for hazardous conditions.

Patrick adds that over the last one and a half, power outage numbers have gone up “considerably” and those numbers are expected to go up. He feels that the the power companies have been “coordinating relatively well” and have been providing state officials with nearly hourly updates.

While many crews have been able to make some quick work getting outages repaired, Patrick notes that the conditions earlier in the day Monday were more favorable for line crews to head out. He says that as the winds pick up, any wind 30 miles per hour or higher poses a safety threat to repair crews.

As a result, as the winds get stronger, generally speaking, Patrick says that residents should expect to be without power for a little longer than may be expected, until the winds

Several cities and towns along the coastline had issued voluntary evacuations, including Scituate, Lynn, Plum Island, but some cities including Fall River and New Bedford have issued mandatory evacuations for portions of their cities.

As more people may be firing up generators with the loss of power, Patrick and State Fire Marshall Stephen Coan remind residents to use their generators safely – outdoors in a well ventilated area, and not inside or any garage.

MEMA Kurt Schwartz say the next concern for those along the water is a high tide coming up at 8:00 p.m. They are expecting three to six foot storm surges, and are especially concerned for town along the South Coast, including Westport.

There is a high tide at 12 midnight that would effect the eastern facing coastline, but Schwartz noted during the press conference that that is not of much of a concern, when compared to the 8:00 p.m. south facing tide.

Over 1,300 National Guard members have been mobilized and Guard officials say that that number is set to “ramp up” a little more as they currently work to “augment and assist first responders.”

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