The M.O.T. area is preparing for Hurricane Sandy, the "Frankenstorm" forecasted to pound the entire state beginning Sunday.
A local State of Emergency has been declared for New Castle County beginning 9 a.m. Sunday and a limited State of Emergency was signed by Gov. Jack Markell Saturday for the entire state.
All schools in the Appoquinimink and Smyrna school districts will be closed Monday and Tuesday and Middletown High School will be opened as a shelter beginning Sunday afternoon.
Once winds sustain 50 MPH speeds, bridges across the state may be closed down, said DelDOT spokesman Jim Westhoff.
Sandy is expected to hit the Delaware bay area with hurricane force winds that could exceed 75 miles per hour.
Wind indicators have been placed on the bridges and once winds sustain 50 MPH, DelDOT will make the decision whether or not to close them down, Westhoff said. These bridges include the Summit and St. Georges Bridge.
Delaware State Police are encouraging motorists to refrain from driving during the hurricane due to the potential of high winds, heavy rain, limited visibility and flooding, said Sgt. Paul G. Shavack.
Rain is expected to begin Sunday and continue through Wednesday.
Residents who live near the water, including those in Port Penn and Delaware City, will be required to evacuate their homes by Sunday evening.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for all homes in the east end of Second Street in Delaware City, the 100 block of Fifth Street in Delaware City, The Delaware City Mobile Home Park, all of Polktown, the town of Port Penn, Augustine Beach, Bayview Beach, and any residence south of Augustine Beach and east of Silver Run Road.
"I strongly encourage all those who live in coastal communities or other flood-prone areas to heed the governor's call," said County Executive Paul Clark.
The town of Townsend sent an e-mail to its residents Saturday urging them to take precautions to preserve hard to replace items and to take caution and value personal safety over possessions .
Middletown Police Chief Henry Tobin said that officers will work with DEMA and the Middletown Volunteer Hose Company if evacuations have to take place in town.
Residents are urged to take down any Halloween decorations, flags, or other items that could blow away and cause damage, Townsend mayor and council also said.
Patio furniture should also be taken inside.
All County parks, libraries, and activity centers will close at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Residents with non-emergency issues related to the storm can call the Delaware Helpline at (800) 464-4357.