BALTIMORE - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley stood before the media Sunday afternoon with a strong message - "This is a serious killer storm. ...It will likely take more lives."
The governor said state emergency services are currently at "full activation," the highest state of emergency. the Maryland National Guard has been mobilized.
"We anticipate there will be several days of power outages for a large number of citizens in Maryland," he said. "...Winds will be very severe."
Gov. O'Malley said minor flooding is expected in the Chesapeake Bay, major flooding in surrounding creeks and streams and big surf on the coast. He advised those near low-lying areas to get to higher ground.
As schools and government offices began to close, the governor said those in the state of Maryland should expect more closings. He said early voting scheduled for Monday would be rescheduled to Friday.
The governor said it could be several days before cleanup and repair crews can safely respond to the effects of Hurricane Sandy .
"We don't know how long this storm might park over the mid-Atlantic," he said.
Later Sunday in a 7 p.m. news conference, Gov. O'Malley talked more about transportation explaining the closure of public systems and urging residents to stay off the road.
" We rarely ever close down metro service, light rail, buses. I mean b uses are usually the last thing we close down," O'Malley said. " T here will be very dangerous conditions out on the roads tomorrow and we are urging all citizens to hunker down at home and stay off the roads tomorrow."
State government will also be closed Monday, except for "essential personnel."
"Sadly we have had a lot of storms to prepare for over the last few years and after each one we do an after action and look at the things we did well and those things that we could do better for the next time," O'Malley said.
Check back as we continue to develop this story.