On Sunday, county government officials advised residents of low lying areas of Havre de Grace and other parts of the county to consider voluntarily evacuation of their homes.
A public shelter was opened Sunday evening at Patterson Mill High School in Bel Air for people needing temporary housing and will remain open during the storm.
Thomas, the county government spokesman, said three people were housed at the storm shelter at Patterson Mill High School overnight. "That number is expected to increase," he added.
County emergency officials briefed County Executive Craig and his staff at 7:30 a.m. Monday on the storm and local emergency preparedness efforts.
Havre de Grace
Havre de Grace had closed off entrances to parks and several small streets, such as Girard Street near the Susquehanna River, even though flooding seemed minimal on those streets.
Many convenience stores and supermarkets stayed open at least during the first half of the day.
Places like Weis Market, on Route 40, had a steady stream of customers around 1 p.m. and showed no sign of running out of hurricane essentials like bread or canned goods.
An employee said the store planned to stay open for the remainder of the day.
Bel Air prepares
The Town of Bel Air offices were closed Monday, but many people were in town hall where Bel Air's emergency operations center is set up.
Town Administrator Chris Schlehr said half of the town's public works crew would be covering the day and the other half would cover the night.
"We expect tonight for them to be gainfully employed because of all the wind and anticipating all the damage," Schlehr said Monday morning.
He reported no problems to that point, "just a lot of water."
"Everything's wet and soggy, but nothing is flooding yet," Schlehr added.
ShopRite closing stores early
Mike Blum, spokesman for Klein's ShopRite, received notice shortly before noon that all the company's stores would close at 2 p.m. Monday.
"ShopRite was very proactive," Blum said about preparing for customer demand. "ShopRite had had extra shipments of things people want. Arriving Saturday and Sunday were more water, ice, bread, milk, toilet paper and batteries."
This was the case were ShopRite stores up and down the East Coast, he said.
The Town of Perryville's website has posted links to a hurricane preparedness plan, as well as how to report power outages to Delmarva.
Perryville Mayor Jim Eberhardt said everything was going smoothly Monday morning in preparing for the storm. The town government is closed except for essential personnel.
Public works crews have been put on 24 hours shifts, 12 hours each, Eberhardt said, beginning at midnight and the boat ramp had been pulled out.
"We got ready, made sure we had plenty of diesel fuel for generators and vehicles are equipped," Eberhardt said. "We coordinated with the fire company, parks [and recreation] and made sure all storm drains were clean."
Eberhardt noted that Cecil County's emergency shelter opened Sunday night at Rising Sun High School.
Trick-or-treating in the town has also been moved to Friday, he said, in anticipation there will be power outages and other lingering problems from the storm Wednesday.
"The biggest concern is there may not be electricity and kids would be walking around in the dark," Eberhardt said. "We don't know what Wednesday is going to be like."
Rising river concerns
Around 11a.m. Monday, the Perryville mayor reported wind picking up and the rain coming down steadily, but nothing too bad.
The town's biggest concern, however, is the effect the storm will have on the Susquehanna River in four or five days.
"We may have localized flood spots in areas," Eberhardt said. "That darn storm looks like it's going right up the basin right up to New York." The river won't crest until several days from now, he noted.
Port Deposit's mayor Wayne Tome made the same observation about the river not being an issue until later in the week when the storm is gone.
On Monday morning, Tome said everyone in town still had their power and the weather was "no big deal" yet.
"We're just waiting to see what happens this afternoon," he said. "We're encouraging people to stay inside."
Shortly before 4 p.m., both Eberhardt and Tome reported no serious issues.
"We're still hunkered down," Eberhardt said. "Everything's going really good."
Tome, however, was concerned about traffic coming through the town since the Hatem and Tydings bridges were closed.
"We're hoping we don't get traffic through here from people going through the dam," he said. "We're monitoring everything."
The Baltimore area remains under a flood watch through Tuesday evening, with coastal flooding expected late Monday into Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy rain, as much as six inches, and high winds, with gusts as much as 70 miles per hour, will occur throughout Monday afternoon and well into Tuesday, according to forecasters.
At 8 a.m. Monday, Hurricane Sandy was positioned off the North Carolina coast and continuing on a northwest track. The storm is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge and coastal hurricane winds and heavy Appalachian snows, said forecasters.
As of 10:30 a.m. the National Weather Service was forecasting sustained winds throughout the day at 30 to 50 miles per hour in Harford County and gusts 60 to 70 miles per hours from late Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.
Rainfall is expected to be between 5 to 10 inches across the area and continue through Tuesday morning.
Near the Chesapeake Bay, winds were clocking in between 30 and 40 miles per hour and, while there were no official reports on rainfall amounts, it was estimated that close to two inches had fallen already.
Reports from meteorologists at Aberdeen Proving Ground were unavailable as the installation is closed for the day.
Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com for updates.