By Brian Messenger firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — METHUEN — The mayor has issued a state of emergency as Hurricane Sandy approaches and police are reporting wind gusts in the city of 45 to 50 mph.
"Stay home. Don't go out if you don't have to," said Methuen Public Works Director Raymond DiFiore. "The winds are picking up and it's extremely dangerous."
National Grid is reporting 3,137 Methuen customers without power. The Methuen Police Department is reporting numerous incidents involving downed trees, poles and wires.
Mayor Stephen Zanni is asking that "all non-essential emergency personnel remain off city streets and inside suitable shelter. It is highly recommended that all non-emergency travel be avoided until the high winds have subsided."
Heavy, damaging winds in Methuen began at 3 p.m. and are expected to continue for up to 18 hours, according to police.
To report a downed tree, wire or pole, call the Methuen Police Department at 978-983-8698.