Keeping an Eye on Sandy
Hurricane Sandy was upgraded Saturday just hours after forecasters said it had weakened to a tropical storm. It was in the Caribbean and is expected to pummel the eastern United States.... including Columbia and Montour Counties. Early Saturday evening, Sandy was 335 miles east southeast of Charleston, S.C.... 345 mile east of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The National Weather Service in State College has issued a flood watch for the region saying the a heavy surge of rain will arrive in our area late Monday into Tuesday. The flood watch will remain in effect from late Sunday night through Tuesday evening. Meteorologists says there will be widespread rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches... with locally excessive rainfall over six inches. A high wind watch is in effect from Monday morning through Tuesday evening.
Corbett Declares Disaster Emergency
Governor Tom Corbett has declared a statewide disaster emergency to enable the state, county and municipal governments to respond effectively to Sandy's impact.
Not only could we get a lot of rain according to Corbett... the high elevations could experience snow. The proclamation authorizes state agency to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of the situation.
The staff at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has been monitoring conditions statewide in order to asses conditions and coordinating any response necessary. During a trip to Bloomsburg on Friday, PEMA Secretary Glenn Cannon said PEMA is working hand in hand with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington since Sandy is a multi – state emergency.
United Water is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best as Sandy churns north along the Atlantic Coast. United Water's Bob Manbeck says supervisors are holding daily conference calls. To avoid the problems experienced in September of 2011... United Water has installed a new 16 – inch diameter transmission main until the Rail Trail near their Irondale Road Plant. The move was necessitated when the former transmission line under the bed of Fishing Creek was washed out. In addition... the utility has a new superintendent managing the Bloomsburg operation... including Columbia, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties.
The Allentown – based electric company serving most of eastern Pennsylvania... including Columbia and Montour Counties... is asking customers to make preparations now to stay safe during the storm. PPL President Gregory Dudkin says the storm could cause widespread damage... resulting in power outages lasting several days. One of the utility's suggestions is to prepare a storm kid... and making a plan for the elderly and those families with small children in the event of an extended outage.