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Springfield Streets Become Silent as Residents, Employees Brace for Sandy

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The streets of western Massachusetts are a lot quieter today than they normally are, especially in downtown Springfield.

As the day wore on, it became tougher and tougher to get around in downtown.

Gusty winds made walking the streets a challenge.

This stop sign on Liberty Street was blowing in the wind.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and his emergency preparedness team said the city was prepared for sandy.

“We’ve been tested by weather disaster after weather disaster, so we will continue to be efficient, effective, and compassionate in the way we deal with this,” Sarno says.

A number of precautions are being taken. Among them is closing city hall at noontime.

As they were leaving city hall, employees feel the city made the right call in letting them go early.

“I think it’s a great idea. It allows us to get home pick up our kids, and get there safely,” says Taneisha Luna.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s a good call,” adds Tom Belton.

Linda Parent says, “I have my 86-year old mother who lives with me and she is very nervous being alone so I’m thankful I get to go home early.”

Hurricane Sandy is impacting bus service here in western Massachusetts and as of 1:00 p.m., bus service had stopped here at the PVTA in Springfield

People were making sure they got out of dodge before the buses stopped.

“Hopefully you’ll get a bus out of here on time, that’s what I’m hoping if not, hopefully somebody will come get me because it’s a two hour walk home,” says Erica French.

And the winds started to pick up as people headed home.

“[I’m] actually not [ready for the hurricane]. I’m kind of scared,

And as noon turned to afternoon, fewer and fewer people ventured out on the windy streets.

The City of Springfield has decided not to open shelters for now. They will open though if weather conditions deteriorate and people need shelter.

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