The hurricane and full moon are what make tides so treacherous in this storm. Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency director Kurt Schwartz said on Oct. 29 that waves will continue to rise between 3 and 6 feet taller than usual.
“The area of greatest concern is the Westport area — so New Bedford and west — where we’ll see the upper end of 6 feet if not pushing more. We’ve heard from Fall River, from the mayor who’s imposed mandatory evacuations in some areas. We’ve also heard from Dartmouth that they, too, have imposed some mandatory evacuation orders," Schwartz said.
More than 1,300 National Guardsmen and women have been deployed to help with street clearing, sand bagging and wellness checks. Gov. Deval Patrick said he’ll call upon more as needed. He also warned that power outages could be prolonged because of heavy winds.
“We’ve had several thousand outages and then within an hour or so that power has been restored. And that’s when the winds were not as strong as they are right now. As the winds are sustained at 30 mph or greater, using those lifts, the buckets, is a hazard to the workers. And so people should expect that it will take a little longer to restore service," Patrick said.
With tens of thousands without power, and even a few hospitals running on generators, it’s unclear how long Hurricane Sandy’s effects will linger.