At 7 a.m. on Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy was already making its presence known on the Massachusetts coast, Gov. Deval Patrick said.

"We have had reports of high seas and gusts ... of 40 or 50 mph," he said. "Lynn, Plum Island and New Bedford have ordered limited evacuations."

Power outages had begun as well. As of 5:30 a.m., there were "about 400 outages right now and that number of course will go up and down during the storm." Patrick said.

All the utility companies were required to submit plans by Friday, Oct. 26. "I've been briefed on the plans. I know there was some back and forth ... in some cases to ask them to make them a bit more robust." In particular, he noted that the electric companies had coordinated tree crews and line crews — not the case in last October's big storm — to repaired downed wires more efficiently. "We will see. The proof is in their performance."

Patrick cautioned people to stay indoors and let emergency workers do their job. It appeared that Bay State residents were heeding the call: traffic in the Boston area was unusually light.

"We're very ready. The National Guard has been called up. They are pre-deployed ... the state police is on full alert. Everyone's off time has been canceled," Patrick said. "I'm confident but I'm also cautious and we will watch this."