BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is directing all schools and state offices to close and non-emergency state workers to stay home Monday because of fierce winds and coastal flooding expected from the major storm that's hitting the Northeast.
Patrick is also encouraging private employers to tell their workers to stay home.
Patrick said Sunday that widespread power outages are expected because of the high winds predicted to whip the state beginning at about 2 a.m. Monday, first on Martha's Vineyard and then reaching the southeast and northeast coasts before noon.
Emergency management officials said coastal communities are being urged to consider voluntary or mandatory evacuations as needed.
Regional shelters are expected to open by 8 p.m. Sunday.