CHATHAM, Mass. (WHDH) — Power crews are gathering strength in numbers as residents board up their homes in preparation of Hurricane Sandy.

With winds at about 35 miles per hour, waves are beginning to build.

“Once the storm starts up the streets are no place to be,” said Hugh Jones.

“There was a rush to the stores today to get batteries, the usual stuff. It’s something we’re used to, to some extent, but we always take precautions,” said Jones.

The big concern in Chatham is the wicked winds that could gust to hurricane strength. Many homeowners and businesses have boarded up their properties.

“We boarded up our back room. We put all the important things higher up, like the computer, the receiver and just got everything secured. We took in all the chairs from outside,” said a resident.

Police are turning on their emergency operation center at 8 a.m. Monday. Their main concerns are high winds, coastal flooding and street flooding.

The harbor master has brought most of the boats out of the harbor.

NSTAR crews have been bringing in help from out of state and said they are ready for anything Sandy may bring.

“Right now based on the models we’re seeing, we expect our entire system could get damaged. We’re locating crews throughout our service area with the understanding that we are able to relocate not only our crews but the private crews that we’re bringing in to the areas that are most hit. Right now it’s incumbent upon us to staff our entire service territory and then make those changes later.”

The worst conditions from Hurricane Sandy are expected to hit Monday afternoon into the evening.

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