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MEMA: If Given, Heed Evacuation Warnings

BOSTON — As portions of the Greater Boston area began to feel tropical storm force winds of more than 40 miles per hour early Monday morning, emergency officials warned Massachusetts residents, especially those on the South Shore, to be prepared.

“We’re expecting those winds to increase and ultimately have some pretty significant impacts on power outages, so certainly that’s one of the major issues that we continue to monitor here,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Scott McLeod, who spoke with WBUR’s Bob Oakes on Morning Edition.

“Also the coastal flood threat, not just on the eastern shores of Massachusetts, but also south-facing beaches,” McLeod continued. “Our partners at the National Weather Service tell us that we should expect some very significant impact [including] severe beach erosion… There are a number of communities in Massachusetts that have been working with their residents on voluntary evacuations.

“The big message for residents is, if your local officials are advising you to leave or to evacuate, certainly we want them to heed those warnings.”

McLeod said MEMA expects power outages to increase throughout Monday, as the winds increase. He said local, state and federal agencies were fortunate to have several days to prepare for Sandy.

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