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Weather warnings and watches issued for approaching hurricane

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Western New York is bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  The mega-storm will bring heavy rains and strong winds to our region Monday afternoon through Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has issued several warnings and watches.  A high wind warning will be in effect from 5:00 Monday afternoon through 2:00 Tuesday afternoon.  Meteorologist David Thomas says wind gusts will reach 60 miles per hour.

Western New York is also under a flood watch from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning for two to three inches of rain.  And there is a lakeshore flood watch for residents living along Lake Ontario in Niagara and Orleans Counties.  

Forecasters say the high winds could bring down tree limbs and power lines.  The heavy rains will swell local creeks and streams.  Residents are urged to have plenty of bottled water, non-perishable foods and batteries on hand to sustain them for a prolonged power outage.

WGRZ-TV is reporting that both Home Depot and Lowes sold out their stock of generators.  Lowes may get more in stock today.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an emergency declaration on Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.   Cuomo announced that New York City is shutting down subways at 7 p.m. Sunday.  Ferry service across the East River has been shut down.