HOLDEN, Mass. — The Town of Holden is closing its offices as the winds from Hurricane Sandy pick up speed, though the Senior Center, public safety and public utility offices will remain open.
As the hurricane closed in and conditions worsened, business offices in the Holden Town Hall, the Starbard Building and the Gale Free Library closed at 12 p.m. Monday.
The Senior Center will remain open for the afternoon, and will serve as a warming shelter for those in need.
According to Selectman Anthony Renzoni, acting town manager Jacquie Kelly has taken the lead in preparing for the storm since late last week, drawing together key leadership of public safety and utilities officials to discuss how to handle the effects of the hurricane.
"She was way ahead of this, and there is a solid plan for anything that could possible go wrong," said Renzoni. "We have absolutely learned our lessons from the 2008 Ice Storm."
Renzoni said their communications have improved ten-fold, and with mediums like the community message board, Code Red system, and Town Facebook page, residents have a variety of sources for emergency information.
"Even if we were to lose power, folks would still have the ability to receive a voicemail, and so we encourage them to charge their phone," he said.
Residents are advised to visit the town’s website, www.holdenma.gov. or call the town emergency information line at (508) 210-5555 for updates as the storm progresses and as new information is available. Any urgent information will be sent via the Town's Code Red emergency notification system.
For any emergency, please call 911, but do not call this number for non-emergency business. If Holden gets hit by Hurricane Sandy, all of our resources will be extremely busy.
Rain and strong, steady winds are expected for this area starting this afternoon, continuing through tomorrow morning.
The Town of Holden is also urging all residents to stay off the roads and remain indoors during the storm as the potential for tree damage and flying debris is expected.
Trash and recycling pickup today are running on a normal schedule and are expected to run on a normal schedule tomorrow.
Due to the expected strong winds, residents are advised to refrain from putting their trash and recycling out this evening.
The Daily Voice, available on computer, tablet and smartphone, will be updating with the latest local information throughout the storm. If you have cancellations or storm damage photos, email them to email@example.com