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"Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy headed to Philadelphia; PA NJ DE Emergency / Evacuation
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/27/12 9:39 pm | updated: 10/27/12 11:51 pm
 
Hurricane Sandy continues to churn up the East Coast, located off the coast of South Carolina with winds of 75 mph as of Saturday night. All models are in tight agreement that it will make a sharp left once it gets off shore of our area. The models now point to a landfall in New Jersey, instead of Delaware Bay as earlier predictions said. The exact track could shift; there are still a couple days ahead of us and things could change, stay tuned.

This storm has been nicknamed “Frankenstorm” by many because of the pre-Halloween timing, but also because of how it will change. It will become a hybrid storm. The strong cold front moving in from the west and strong high pressure off the coast will start to interact with Sandy and morph the storm from a tropical Hurricane into an extratropical Nor'Easter. This change will happen because tropical systems get their energy by extracting heat from the ocean, while winter-type Nor'Easter's draw strength from temperature differences along fronts.

When the storm does make landfall sometime on Monday night it will have the strength of a Category 1 Hurricane, but will have lost a lot of it tropical cyclone characteristics. Nonetheless it is expected to bring high winds, heavy rain, widespread flooding, high coastal storm surge, and numerous 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.

The timing of Hurricane Sandy will play out over several days. This storm will start to affect the area starting tomorrow, Sunday. On Sunday afternoon we can expect occasional showers (bring the ponchos to the Eagles game). The rain and wind will become heavier and stronger as Sunday night progresses. Monday into Tuesday will be the worst of it. Wednesday could still see lingering showers.

Mayor Nutter has declared a State of Emergency for the City of the Philadelphia that will begin at 5 a.m. Sunday and last until 5 p.m. Tuesday. “We are certain that a huge storm is coming in the direction of Philadelphia that poses a serious threat, … in terms of heavy rain, flooding and sustained high winds,” the mayor said. He also announced that three emergency shelters will be open on Sunday at 4pm. Those will be located at West Philadelphia High School, Roxborough High School and Fels High School.

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 temporary 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 clog them again.

Pennsylvania 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 caused by high winds and falling trees. 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.

In New Jersey they are bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy on Monday. Record flooding is possible with a pending storm surge combined with the full moon on the 29th and heavy rains. Heavy surf and high winds will also batter the coast line. The National Scholastic Surfing Association Northeast Conference has postponed its championship meet on Sunday because the seas are already kicking up to dangerous levels. Governor Chris Christie announced a State of Emergency for New Jersey. Mandatory evacuations for Cape May County and Atlantic County barrier islands will begin at 4 pm on Sunday. Voluntary evacuations are already in place. Mandatory evacuations will also extend to Atlantic City's hotels and casinos beginning at 4 pm. Roadways could be shut down at that time by local authorities, including causeway access to shore towns. Check ready.nj.gov for NJ information and shelters around the state. Gov. Christie also announced that New Jersey may be shut down on Monday and that preparations are being made.

Tolls will be suspended on the northbound Garden State Parkway and westbound Atlantic City Expressway starting at 6 a.m. Sunday in order to facilitate the evacuations of residents and visitors.

In Delaware, Governor Jack Markell issued a partial State of Emergency for 24 hours starting at 8 pm Saturday. “I’m ordering a mandatory evacuation of coastal communities in Sussex, Kent and New Castle Counties. All of the above have been identified to us by emergency management officials.” All residents in flood prone areas should evacuate by 8pm Sunday. He said those who will need access to a shelter should wait until noon on Sunday before heading to one of the state's shelters. If you do not evacuate you will not have access to first responders in an emergency. For information on Delaware's evacuations and to find a shelter visit http://www.dema.delaware.gov

We can all 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 some 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. Be sure to secure loose items outdoors and clear downspouts, gutters, drains, and basement windows.

 
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