City and school offices in Salem will be closing at 2 p.m. today, according to a statement from Mayor Kim Driscoll, and while city staff will be on alert all day, residents are encouraged to avoid venturing out into the driving wind and rain expected to worsen throughout the day with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
"If you don't have to go out, please stay indoors," Driscoll said.
Public Works personnel will be on duty throughout the duration of the storm. Residents and businesses that encounter issues related to flooding and other problems, such as downed tree limbs, should contact the DPW at 978-744-3302, or the Police Department non-emergency business line at 978-744-0171.
Sand bags are available at the DPW Garage at 5 Jefferson Avenue, and residents who would like to are asked to bring their own shovels to obtain sand.
So far, problems in Salem have been minimal. Ron Malionek, assistant director of the DPW, has received a few reports of flooding in the usual problem spots - such as Bridge Street, and Commercial Street along the North River - but nothing too disruptive. High tide hit at about 11:30 a.m. according to the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association.
A dispatcher with the Salem police reported that the department has not been receiving calls regarding storm-related issues.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.