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Hurricane Sandy: State of Emergency Declared

State and Federal officials say the slow moving "Frankenstorm" storm will cause problems over large part of Pennsylvania through Halloween.

 

State and federal officials Saturday night warned Pennsylvania residents to prepare for widespread flooding and power outages from Hurricane Sandy.

The storm, which is expected to come ashore somewhere along the East Coast late Sunday into early Monday, is anticipated to affect 50-60 million people along the East Coast.

States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, New York, Virginia, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Corbett declared the emergency Saturday night after forecasters predicted the storm will put Pennsylvania in the flood zone.

Philadelphia Mayor Micheal Nutter declared a state of emergency for Philadelphia starting at 5 p.m. Sunday through 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Flooding, for now, is the main focus of forecasters and federal disaster response agencies, according to Louis Uccellini, director the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center For Environmental Prediction.

Uccellini said the "extent of heavy rainfall has a danger of flooding for Pennsylvania and Maryland and into northern Virginia.

Sandy is expected to merge with a nor'easter to create a "Frankenstorm" hundreds of miles wide and bringing damaging winds and rain.

"Given the amount of rainfall and the period of time that it's falling over, we expect river flooding to be significant from about 48 hours from now on," Uccellini said. "We're looking at the river valleys in Pennsylvania and Maryland then into New Jersey very carefully."

Officials throughout the area on Friday called for resident to prepare for the storm by having three days of supplies at home -- including batteries, water and food -- in case of widespread power outages.

"Every storm is different," said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, "so if you were not impacted by a past storm that doesn't mean it will be exactly the same for you this time."

Federal forecasters said Friday that the "Frankenstorm" involving Hurricane Sandy is expected to smash into the East Coast harder than Hurricane Irene, which last year at this time left hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians without power and led to historic flooding.

"So, there's going to be an inland flood potential," Knabb said. "This is not just going to be a coastal event, although the hazards do start at the coast with the storm surge and exactly who gets the worst of the storm surge is difficult to pinpoint right now."

Also of concern to officials is the strong winds that are expected to cause extended power outages.

"Based upon the wind speeds, we don't expect substantial structural damages,"  Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said. "What we think the primary impact is going to be is trees and tree limbs down and whatever roof damage from trees coming down as well as power lines. The primary concern with wind is going to be extensive, perhaps widespread power outages due trees coming down, limbs coming down."

The large size of the storm, which could potentially cover the eastern third of the country, will cause multiple weather-related problems that vary from region to region.

Once the storm makes land-fall, it is expected to track east to west before heading north and being taken up by a storm system coming out of Canada.

Come back to Patch for live updates on the storm as it comes through the area. Let us know what you are doing to prepare?

 Resources:

Kathy Knaub-Hardy October 28, 2012 at 01:35 PM
What does a "state of emergency" truly mean? I know that it has implications for receiving federal funding for clean-up of the aftermath. However, are there restrictions in place once a state of emergency has been declared? Are roads closed, for example. Is there a curfew? We hear this phrase so often at times like this but I don't think everyone knows what it really means.
Moe October 28, 2012 at 01:42 PM
18 Pa.C.S. § 6107: Prohibited conduct during emergency (a) General rule.--No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive unless that person is: (1) Actively engaged in a defense of that person's life or property from peril or threat. (2) Licensed to carry firearms under section 6109 (relating to licenses) or is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).
The Neighbor October 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM
The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation. The time-consuming bid and contract procedures, as well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the duration of the proclamation.
Bebimbop October 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I just want to know if Haverford schools district will be open or closed ? 100 schools have closed so what's the delay with making a decision?
smith October 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
All Haverford Schools are closed Monday & Tuesday.
Lux October 28, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Since power outages are inevitable having a long run time flashlight is a good idea. Lowes has a 65 hour run time flashlight for under $5.00 http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Flashlight-Mod-Increases-Run-Time-36X/?allstep I got mine in store. I also got one at Target. You can never have too many flashlights. More: http://armageddononline.org/forums/threads/34318-Cheap-long-run-time-flashlights Or go micro solar for under $50.00. http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?allstep Emergency Led Lighting Made Ridiculously Simple: http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Led-Lighting-Made-Ridiculously-Simple/?allstep
rich October 28, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Be a good neighbor to each other and we will get through this together.
Moe October 28, 2012 at 09:55 PM
You can make a candle from a can of Crisco shortening. Look it up on Youtube. The large can lasts 45 days @ 8 hours per night.
J Noviello October 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM
During a state of emergency are people supposed to stay off roads?
Libby Brinton October 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM
they're closed
pamela October 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Yes are we to stay off roads during a state of emergency? i live in franklin county but work in washington county maryland?
Taxpayer October 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM
No, a state of emergency does not mean you are to stay off roads. The Mayor has not prohibited anyone from being on the roads and has set no curfew. Stop looking for a reason to get out of work.
Thomas Kaste October 29, 2012 at 01:01 AM
But the Phoenixville YMCA has stated as of 9pm Sunday night that they are open and all employees should report to work at their normal time. It's good to know that in the middle of a hurricane where a state of emergency has been declared by the governer I can still go get a workout
Thomas Kaste October 29, 2012 at 01:02 AM
To those who do not get it there is a bit of sarcasm in my post
Josh October 29, 2012 at 01:19 AM
this isn't about working you idiot. This becomes a safety issue, I for one am not about to risk my life in downpours and squalls to where I can only see 20 feet in front of me for any amount of money. Not to mention all the down power lines and trees that will happen the time I'm at work I'd never make it home.
clingingtomygunsandGod October 29, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Lol what a bunch of lunatics haha! I'm in schulykill county pa, and just busted several ribs and my right hand in a car accident Friday, so I'm hoping for the least amount of storm and pain as possible. I was on my way to my pain management appt Friday, lol, when I got into this accident, and I'm sposed to go back tmr am, but uh I cant barely move, my truck is totaled, and I have 3 little ones here at home who need their mom to be able to move lol and there is a storm coming, so I'm screwed and Iwas trying to read something that wouldn't hurt, and of all things, here are some of the funniest comments, especially the workout 1 lol! I always love the weirdass places that stay open during events like this. I bartend, so we are always open, lol people drink during anything. Stay safe everybody, and thanks for all the important info.
Ashley smith October 29, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Even la fitness is open. It funny for the amount of the money they pay, they expects their employees to risk there life and go to work.
Working Mom October 29, 2012 at 02:21 AM
The UMLY is open too.. so working out is a definite
Paul Curtis October 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM
You may want to bookmark this comprehensive weather prediction page and pass the link on to others... http://www.realityisfree.com/weather.html
JG November 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
can anyone tell me, are the school districts required to make up missed days from school during a state of emergency? My kids missed all of last week (5 days) because the schools were closed with power outages, downed wires, close roads etc.. the school is saying we need to make up the missed days :(
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