States up and down the East Coast are preparing for Hurricane Sandy, which sent rain to portions of North and South Carolina on Saturday. Sandy could strike the U.S. coast beginning Sunday evening anywhere from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Connecticut, a 700-mile stretch that has state and local authorities rushing to prepare for potentially devastating effects.
From north to south, here is a look at how coastal states are getting ready:
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is warning that Sandy has the potential to create "significant problems" in the state, starting Monday. The concerns range from high surf to strong winds to coastal erosion, the agency says.
In anticipation of widespread power outages, Gov. Paul LePage signed a "limited emergency declaration" so power crews from other states and Canada can help the state prepare for Sandy. The declaration also extends the hours that power company crews can drive.
Gov. John Lynch joined local and state emergency management officials on a conference call to discuss preparations for the storm. The governor also is discussing preparations with the state's utilities, according to his office.
Sandy could bring winds of up to 60 mph and between 2 and 4 inches of rain to parts of the Granite State, likely starting Monday, the governor's office said.
"While the exact path and severity of the storm remain uncertain, it is clear New Hampshire will experience a significant weather event and I urge everyone to be prepared," Lynch said.
Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency for the Bay State at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, allowing officials to make preparations.
Hoping to avoid the kind of criticism utilities received after last year's Hurricane Irene and other storms, Patrick said utilities plan to pair tree removal and power restoration crews -- rather than having them work separately -- so that work can be done more efficiently.
Like other states in the Northeast, Rhode Island is monitoring Hurricane Sandy -- though, unlike its neighbors, the state had yet to declare a state of emergency as of Saturday afternoon.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is urging all residents to be prepared for prolonged power outages and wind and water damages by having an emergency kit, securing their property, and taking boats out of the water.
State authorities have been taking preparatory measures, such as checking and clearing drains in flood-prone areas and relocating needed state equipment if necessary.
With a state of emergency declared, Gov. Dannel Malloy said his state would have 400 National Guard troops prepared to assist with recovery efforts, as needed.
"Folks, this could be bad -- really bad," Malloy said, noting that forecasters are predicting 36 hours of sustained winds. "It could impact us in several ways and for a long period of time. Please take this as seriously as we are taking it."
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo declaring a state of emergency, New York City authorities will decide Sunday whether to suspend subway, bus and commuter rail service ahead of the storm, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Saturday evening.
The city expects a slow surge of water to flood low-lying areas such as Queens, the Bronx and Battery Park in Manhattan, Bloomberg said. The city is not ordering evacuations, but Bloomberg urged residents to be prepared to leave if necessary.
A similar warning to residents on Long Island came from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. The governor dispatched extra ambulances to the county to help frail and ill residents.
State authorities are taking several other preparatory steps, including bringing down water levels along the Erie Canal, Cuomo said. Airlines are trying to prevent travel chaos by allowing passengers to alter their plans, fee-free, at major airports such as LaGuardia and Kennedy.