Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts as Hurricane Sandy draws near.  The storm threatens to dump heavy rain and damaging winds that could cause widespread power outages.

Patrick also said Saturday that 200 members of the National Guard are already on standby and that number will rise to at least 1,000 by the time the storm arrives on Monday.

Sandy will hit Massachusetts beginning Sunday night and peak Monday and Tuesday. The storm will cause moderate to major coastal flooding and severe beach erosion. There will be bands of heavy rain with the potential for at least 5 inches over several days.

Patrick says the declaration of state of emergency will help state officials quickly secure necessary services, supplies and personnel needed to be in place ahead of the storm.