Updated 5:10 p.m. Monday
At around 4:30 p.m. Monday, Stratford Patch asked on its Facebook page: How's everyone doing out there? Where are you and what do you see?
Here's what residents had to say:
Lordship. Wind, rain, no power issues yet.
In Stratford, near Wooster Middle School, still have power for now. Wind is definitely picking up.
Stratford near the Pickle Barrel, Just rain and some wind
In Lordship hanging out waiting to see if my house will be still standing when I go back to it.
Lordship: water that came up Washington Parkway this morning has neither receded nor advanced.
Pretty tame so far. other than a few small branches down, this has been a relatively weak storm - hopefully it doesnt intensify
Off East Main,windy picking up, a bit of rain, all is fine
Either it hasn't really peaked yet or this storm isn't much
Looking at the Sound. Swells higher than noon but with low tide the water is about 20 feet from the bluff instead of lapping it. Stay tuned for high tide at midnight.
Fairlea Ave. all good here. No trees down and power still good. The wind has def picked up in strength!
We are up on Hilltop. Wind is picking up and rain is sideways and constant now. We are starting to lose branches now.
College, next to Mary and Collins, still have power. Small branch in front yard.
Updated 11:30 a.m.
Main Street by the airport is closed, reports the mayor's office.
Updated 10 a.m.
There's been some confusion on what areas in town are considered low-lying and thus should be evacuated.
So to put it plainly: "Everyone basically south of I-95 should relocate," said a worker at the town's emergency operations center, which can be reached by calling 203.385.4070.
Throughout the storm, Bunnell High School will be serving as a shelter for residents.
The storm surge is expected to be between seven and 10 feet. But if you live in an area under mandatory evacuation and do not wish to leave, here's what you can expect, according to Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff:
"No one can be forced from their home or arrested for not leaving," he said. "However, with a mandatory evacuation, residents should know there is a likelihood that public safety personnel may not be able to get to them in their homes once the storm hits."
Our original report follows.
Stratford Steels Itself for Sandy
Mandatory evacuations are in order as the hurricane approaches. Stick with Patch for updates.
Published 5:55 a.m. Monday
With a storm surge Hurricane Sandy's approach led Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to remark late Sunday: "The last time we saw anything like this was never."
It's estimated, he said, that the storm surge will be between seven and 10 feet -- compare that to Irene's four-feet surge last August. Malloy said the coastline will see "unprecedented flooding" if the expected storm surge is realized.
"This is a real warning of possible death of drowning," Malloy said. "I know it's hard to leave your home. But I can't be any clearer. Anyone on the waterfront must take this seriously."
Locally, Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins Sunday put in place a voluntary evacuation order for "all residents and businesses along the waterfront and in low-lying areas that tend to flood." That order was upgraded to "mandatory" late Sunday night. Bunnell High School is open as a shelter for residents.
If you live south of Interstate 95, the town is asking that you relocate for Sandy.
Stratford public schools are closed Monday and Tuesday; the Stratford Library will be closed Monday; Stratford's beaches are closed indefinitely.
There will be no trash collection and yard waste pickup Monday or Tuesday. Additionally, residents are asked to help keep catch basins and drains clear to the best of their availability.
On Sunday, the town began offering sandbags to residents at the public works yard, 550 Patterson Ave.
The Connecticut Post Mall in Milford and the Westfield Mall in Trumbull will be closed Monday, with the following disclaimer: "Department stores may determine individual operating hours -- it is recommended that area residents contact them individually for additional information."
Metro-North suspended service on its New Haven Line Sunday at 7 p.m., and "the duration of the service suspension is unknown, and there is no timetable for restoration," according to a post on their website. "Service will be restored only when it is safe to do so, after careful inspections of all equipment and tracks. Even with minimal damage this is expected to be a lengthy process."
United Illuminating is anticipating that 50 to 70 percent of its customers will be without power at some point during the storm.
Heavy rain and winds gusting as high as 70 mph are expected in Stratford Monday, according to a forecast on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The worst of Sandy is expected to be in the area around midnight Monday.
Stick with Stratford Patch throughout the storm for updates on Sandy.