Sandy’s destructive path has led to widespread power outages and flooding across the state, leading many refugee shelters to fill up quickly.

By 6.30 p.m., 50 percent or more residents in nine towns across the state were reportedly without power, with 300,000 people in total experiencing outages, according to the New Haven Register. Chester and Killingworth, Conn. were the worst affected, with 100 percent of residents cut off from Connecticut Light and Power.

The state’s utilities are preparing for a number of power outages created by Sandy that could exceed last year’s total caused by Hurricane Irene and the October Northeaster combined.

The power outages followed Conn. Gov. Malloy’s 6 p.m. announcement hat he had signed four executive orders designed to assist Connecticut’s recovery from Sandy. These orders will offer tax-filing extensions to the state’s residents and businesses as well as faster restoration of the state’s power infrastructure.

“Our first priority during this storm is public safety, but we also want to ensure efficient restoration efforts,” Malloy said. “Let’s be clear, it’s going to take awhile to get back to normal, but we are prepared to use all that we learned during the 2011 storms and the July statewide emergency drill to deal with the storm and address its aftermath.”

In addition to power outages, Connecticut has already seen widespread flooding. The most significant risk will be posed at midnight, with possible surges of up to 11 feet. During an 11.30 a.m. press conference, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. reiterated his call for evacuation of shoreline communities.

“What we are seeing right now is just the child,” DeStefano said. “The mother is going to be here in 12 hours.”

Jonathan Law High School, Milford’s storm shelter, saw up to 35 residents arrive by Monday afternoon. Staffed by city personnel and volunteers, the shelter is providing three hot meals a day to residents and also accommodates animals. In West Haven, more than 100 people are currently being housed in the emergency center at Carrigan School, the Register reported.