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The Post  
Hurricane Sandy "Frankenstorm" has Philadelphia in her sights; Area Emergency Management Gears Up
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/27/12 2:53 am | updated: 10/27/12 2:53 am
Hurricane Sandy is slowly chugging up the East Coast and all models suggest it is getting ready to hang a sharp left once it gets off shore of our area. Currently it looks as if it will make landfall in the Delaware Bay, instead of a direct hit on the Jersey Shore, however that track would expose NJ to the northern side of the storm and its onshore winds and storm surge. However, the exact track could shift north; there are still a few days ahead of us and things could change, stay tuned.

The storm will be a Category 1 Hurricane when it hits land. It is expected to bring high winds, heavy rain, widespread flooding, and power outages across the entire Philadelphia region, South Jersey, and Delaware with the worst Monday into Tuesday regardless of where it lands up or down our Mid-Atlantic coast.

New Jersey has already issued voluntary evacuations in Cape May County. Mandatory evacuations will be issued starting on Sunday. Record flooding is possible with a pending storm surge combined with the full moon on the 29th and heavy rains. Delaware Governor Jack Markell has not issued any evacuations or states of emergency yet but those decisions will probably be made soon. Those along the coast of Delaware should be preparing for a direct hit and be getting ready to evacuate when ordered. Others in the state should also be ready for the storm and the possibility of be without power for days.

UPDATE 10/27 11 am: New Jersey Governor Christie has issued a State of Emergency in Advance of the Hurricane. Manadatory evacuations from Sandy Hook to Cape May are expected to begin Sunday afternoon, including Atlantic City's hotels and casinos. Residents and visitors are asked to start to leave the barrier islands now. The National Guard is getting ready to help out as needed.

Mayor Nutter is urging all of those who live in flood prone areas of the city to relocate to higher ground. “Make plans now to stay with family and friends. We are calling on you to be out of those homes by 2 p.m. on Sunday,” Nutter said. Areas along Kelly Drive and MLK (West River) Drive, Pennypack Creek, Manayunk, Cobbs Creek and Delaware Ave are particularly vulnerable. Make sure you move vehicles away from streets and parking lots that usually turn into rivers and ponds. The Streets Dept has been out unclogging more than 70,000 storm drains around the city, but high winds and falling leaves can quickly clogging them again

Governor Tom Corbett has already issued a State of Disaster Emergency in Pennsylvania ahead of the storm. PECO has upped their staff by hundreds getting ready deal with massive power outages. The City of Philadelphia will decide on Saturday whether to open shelters at West Philly High School and Roxborough High School. The Red Cross is readying supplies, packing up water, cots, food, etc. in the event they need to open shelters. They can care for 26,000 people.

We can expect up to 10 inches of rain with sustained winds over 50 miles an hour and up to 75 mph in some places and embedded thunderstorms & tornados. We still have plenty of time to prepare and travel this weekend and not during the storm. Make sure you at least have batteries, a radio, candles/flashlight, water, and non-perishable food.

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