Massachusetts officials are preparing for the arrival of a storm that Gov. Deval Patrick says could bring damaging winds, 6-10 inches of rain and the possibility of both coastal and inland flooding.
The governor told a State House briefing on Friday that current projections show the storm reaching Massachusetts by late Sunday and lingering until early Wednesday.
He said forecasters are expecting a 4-6 foot coastal storm surge and 30-35 foot waves offshore.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan said the state's major utilities have filed emergency plans with the state and are contracting crews from as far away as Washington state to deal with expected power outages.
"We have been very clear and the governor has been [clear] that we expect that the work on the ground during the storm will be to the expectation that everybody is deserving of, which will be of an extremely high level," Sullivan said.
Utilities are under pressure after criticism of their response to two major storms last year. They could face stiff fines under a new state law if their response to Sandy falls below expectations.
Patrick said he's making sure the utilities are ready.
"The utilities are clear that I'm watching them and we're watching and, more to the point, their customers are watching," he said.
Patrick also advised Massachusetts residents to be ready for Sandy's expected arrival.
"Make sure you have a flashlight, batteries, sufficient nonperishable food and water, a first aid kit, any necessary medications on hand, in the event that we're without power for a period of time."
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom