Hurricane Irene continues it's march up the east coast. It should be a wind and rain event for Columbia and Montour Counties. The National Weather Service in State College has issued a wind advisory which is in effect through early Sunday evening. Meteorologists says once the winds arrive... they will be from the north at 25 to 35 miles per hour... with wind gusts up to 50 MPH.
PPL on Alert
PPL is closely tracking the forecasts... and have actively prepared for the storm's potential impact in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Spokesperson Terri McBride working out of the Bloomsburg office tells us... about 150 employees and contractors form PPL's utility operations in Kentucky are on stand by. McBride said crews spent Friday wrapping up maintenance, repair and upgrade work on the company's transmission and distribution system.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is preparing to respond to Hurricane Irene.
Deanna Hollenbach of the Danville Chapter says volunteers and supplies will be needed from North Carolina to New England. The organization has also already deployed hundreds of trained volunteers to the effected area... and thousand of more are on alert.
As Hurricane Irene pulls closer to the New York area, some communities are opening shelters for residents in need. Community colleges, high schools and community centers are among the facilities in and around New York City that will remain open throughout the storm. Officials are urging local residents to stay indoors during the storm and to avoid venturing out to "sight-see" and view damage or flooding that may occur. They add unnecessary travel can hamper first responders rushing to emergencies. In some low-lying areas, local officials have distributed sandbags to residents to prevent possible flooding. Meantime, trying to get around the “Big Apple” is nearly impossible. Subways, busses and trains stopped service at 12 noon Saturday. Amtrak, the nation's passenger rail service will not run the Northeast Corridor from Washington, DC to Boston on Sunday. Even the PATH system and New Jersey Transit are shuttered until at least Monday. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg telling commuters that he expect the system not to be up to speed until Tuesday.