Gov. Corbett details storm preparations for Pennsylvania
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HARRISBURG -- All of Pennsylvania will be under a high-wind warning from 7 p.m., Gov. Tom Corbett and his staff said at a press briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
Wind gusts could reach 70 mph with sustained winds in the 40 to 50 mph range, Mr. Corbett said.
"The size of the storm is so great that the high-wind warning will stretch from Philadelphia to the Ohio border," Mr. Corbett said.
The governor told reporters at the 6 p.m. briefing that the storm was expected to make landfall within the hour in New Jersey and pass directly across Philadelphia. The storm was traveling about 28 mph but was expected to slow so that after hitting Harrisburg at 2 a.m. it would take until 2 p.m. to reach State College, he said.
By Tuesday morning, the outer reaches of the storm are expected to reach as far west as the Johnstown area before veering north, Mr. Corbett said.
Major interstate highways are being closed in the Philadelphia area, and the governor warned that more roads could be closed.
"We ask everybody to stay inside, to stay off roads if at all possible," he said. "These conditions on the interstates and bridges could require a closure of those bridges and interstates across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania at any moment."
Thirty-three counties have issued emergency declarations, the governor said. The state has 58 evacuation centers on standby with room for 31,000 people, he said. More than 100,000 electricity customers are without power, triple the number at a 1:30 p.m. briefing.
The governor said he has no confirmed reports of injuries or deaths from the storm. He warned of high winds expected tonight in central Pennsylvania as the storm tracks south of the capital area.
"Those heavy winds will be coming right through Harrisburg, so it's very dangerous coming up here in the next few hours," he said.
Mr. Corbett also released the following list of important phone numbers, texting resources and websites for Pennsylvanians who have lost power, require shelter or are experiencing emotional distress in relation to Hurricane Sandy.
Pennsylvanians are reminded to write this information down and to store it in a safe location so it is easily accessible in the event of power outage.
Visit www.pa.gov for the state's most recent storm update, live storm tracking, local shelter information, updated closure information, a list of important phone numbers, an emergency preparedness guide and live twitter updates from Governor Corbett and the Weather Channel.
If you are experiencing emotional distress, call the Disaster Distress Helpline toll-free number, 1-800-985-5990, or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746. Spanish-speakers can text 'Hablanos' to 66746. Calls and texts will be answered by trained crisis counselors from call centers throughout the U.S.
If you lost power, contact your electric company. Do not assume your neighbors have called. The following is a list of Pennsylvania electric company, toll-free numbers.
Citizens Electric of Lewisburg -- 570-524-2231
Duquesne Light -- 1-888-393-7000
FirstEnergy Companies --1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) ￢ﾀﾓ this includes: Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), First Energy Company Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), and West Penn Power (formerly Allegheny Power)
PPL -- 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775)
PECO Energy Company - 1-800-841-4141
Pike County Light & Power Company -- 1-877-434-4100
UGI Utilities Inc. -- 1-800-276-2722
Wellsboro Electric Company -- 570-724-3516To find a shelter near you, visit www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter. Or text "shelter" + your zip code to 43362.
If you￢ﾀﾙre an older Pennsylvanian, local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) can coordinate shelter or find services for older Pennsylvanians during Hurricane Sandy. Residents are encouraged to call 1-800-490-8505 to be connected with an AAA in their local area.
If you need to evacuate, specific information about any major state road closures is available by calling 511 or by visiting www.511pa.com. Pennsylvanians who leave their homes should follow the directions of local law enforcement to ensure the safe and steady flow of traffic. In addition to driving cautiously, motorists should also expect delays and allow extra time in their travel schedules.
First Published October 29, 2012 7:11 pm