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The Post  
Hurricane Sandy "Frankenstorm" en route Philadelphia; Emergency / Evacuation / Cancellation PA DE NJ
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/28/12 7:44 pm | updated: 10/28/12 9:49 pm
Hurricane Sandy continues up the East Coast, now located off the coast of North Carolina with winds of 75 mph as of Sunday afternoon. 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 near Atlantic City. The exact track could shift; there is still time ahead of us and things could change.

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 a blocking 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 has already started to affect our area. This afternoon we can expect occasional showers to start. The rain and wind will become heavier and stronger as Sunday night progresses. Monday into Tuesday will be the worst of it. The heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur between 4pm Monday and 6am Tuesday. We could still see lingering showers on Wednesday.

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 4 pm. Those are located at West Philadelphia High School, Roxborough High School and Fels High School. Nutter joined a conference call Sunday with various governors and mayors led by President Obama who assured that he would act quickly in provided help to the regions that will be affected. FEMA is also readying their aid. They've pre-classified Philadelphia as a Category 1 Hurricane zone.

He urged all of those is flood prone areas to relocate to higher ground. 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. The PPA has announced that there will be Free Parking in Philadelphia through Wednesday morning at all city meters. Kiosks have also been disabled and wrapped in plastic for their protection.

All city and public employees, except essential employees, should not report to work. The city offices will be closed. Mayor Nutter is urging all citizens to stay home unless you absolutely need to go out. Please keep the roads clear for emergency responders.

SEPTA will suspend service after Sunday's schedule tonight at 12:30 am. The SEPTA shutdown includes all types of travel includes Regional Rail, the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, city and suburban bus and trolley routes, and the Norristown High Speed Line. Reserved CCT Paratransit will still run if possible. All of Monday is canceled, they will monitor the situation to see if it will extend into Tuesday. If you haven't yet evacuated and need to use SEPTA, do so tonight.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Philadelphia International Airport. Most airlines are waiving change fees if you need to reschedule your flights. Call your airline or check for the status of your flight. Amtrak is also canceling trains along the Northeast Corridor. You can find information on their cancellations at

Most area colleges and universities have already cancelled classes and will be closed on Monday and Tuesday including University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, LaSalle, Drexel, University of Delaware, Temple, and St. Joe's. Some of those colleges have even encouraged students to return home, if possible, so they aren't stuck on campus in case of prolonged loss of services. Philadelphia city schools and Archdiocesan schools are also closed Monday.

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. PPL, PSE&G, and Atlantic Electric have also brought in extra crews from all around the country to deal with the potential power disaster. 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 sometime 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. Some flooding has already been reported in Sea Isle City and Ocean City. Governor Chris Christie announced a State of Emergency for New Jersey on Saturday. Mandatory evacuations for all barrier islands will begin at 4 pm on Sunday. The evacuations will extend even to Atlantic City's casinos and hotels. They closed today at 3pm. Roadways could be shut down at that time by local authorities, including causeway access to shore towns. All of the barrier islands from Sandy Hook to Cape May are now closed. Check for NJ information and shelters around the state. Gov. Christie also announced that New Jersey Transit and PATH is shut down for Monday. Non-essential state employees should not report to work on Monday. Many school districts throughout the state are closed both Monday and Tuesday.

Tolls have been suspended on the northbound Garden State Parkway and westbound Atlantic City Expressway in order to facilitate the evacuations of residents and visitors.

PATCO in New Jersey will also suspend service on Monday. The last trains to and from Philadelphia will run late tonight. They will resume service on Tuesday as soon as conditions permit. Non-essential employees are asked not to report on Monday.

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 A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Southeast Wilmington starting at 6 pm Sunday.

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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