Harrisburg City Council Passes Resolution Calling For Safety Of Oil Trains

Lancaster County officials aren’t the only ones expressing concern over oil trains passing through communities along the Susquehanna River.

Harrisburg City Council Tuesday night passed a resolution that urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve the designs of rail cars that carry explosive crude oil across the country and through populated areas.

The resolution also urged rail companies to replace their fleet of oil tank cars with improved models. And the measure asked the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to help local emergency responders better prepare for the possibility of an oil-train accident.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/harrisburg-city-council-passes-resolution-calling-for-safety-of-oil/article_9b630868-e376-11e4-b6a8-3f5ea18bf998.html

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Delivery Of Road Salt Falling Short Across Western Pennsylvania

Penn Township in Westmoreland County ordered 500 tons of rock salt Jan. 21, 500 more Jan. 23 and 500 more Jan. 30, for a total of 1,500 tons. As of Friday, only 350 tons — less than enough to deal with two typical accumulating snowstorms — had arrived.

The township is not alone. Communities throughout the state and across the Midwest and Northeast are struggling to keep up with a winter that has gnawed away at their salt supplies.

There is no shortage, according to one major supplier. The problem is twofold: recurring snowfalls, none of them blizzards but with enough accumulation to require road treatment, and bitter cold that has iced rivers and slowed the progress of barges carrying salt to depots.

“We have plenty of salt,” said Peggy Landon, director of corporate communications and investor relations for Compass Minerals, parent of Kansas-based North American Salt, which ships rock salt to 5,000 destinations in North America. “It’s being transported every single day.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/02/10/Shortage-of-road-salt-growing-in-Western-Pennsylvania/stories/201402100071#ixzz2sw8Bkboz

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150,000 Peco Customers Still In The Dark In Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Update: At 8:45 a.m. Saturday, about 152,000 were still without electricity, according to Peco, down from 715,000 at the outage’s peak. Sixteen percent of the Pennsylvania suburbs remain without power; including 30% in Chester County.

Nearly 40 percent of Chester County remained powerless late Friday, with several communities entirely dark for a third straight night and officials warning that it might be days before all the lights were back on.

Peco, which had more than 5,000 utility workers – half from out of town – clearing downed trees and repairing wires Friday, continued to make progress restoring power, with more than 60,000 customers brought online during the day. At 10 p.m. Friday, about 182,000 were still without electricity, down from 715,000 at the outage’s peak.

Peco ranked the event as the largest winter power outage in its history, second overall to 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140208_Outages_drop__but_some_could_wait_days_for_power.html#4ypvLijq0jDuLQ2M.99

Obama Declares Lancaster County An Emergency Area: What It Means

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With thousands still without power, President Barack Obama on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Lancaster and six other Pennsylvania counties.

The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring resources to the clean-up efforts.

While local officials were still unclear about the extent of federal aid on Thursday afternoon, a FEMA spokesman said the first tangible result will likely come to the county in the form of gas-powered generators.

Peter Herrick, of Philadelphia-based FEMA Region III, said federal emergency management officials were talking to their counterparts at the state level to determine what equipment is needed.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/obama-declares-lancaster-county-an-emergency-area-what-it-means/article_851cb56a-8f60-11e3-8d16-0017a43b2370.html

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Force Of Tropical Storm Lee Still Felt As 69 Houses Face Demolition In Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost two years after Tropical Storm Lee, the cleanup continues as houses damaged by flooding along the swollen Swatara Creek and later bought by the federal government are being demolished.

During the past few weeks, local municipalities have hired contractors to remove the houses, purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s Hazard Mitigation Program.  Buyouts from FEMA were determined by the cost of rebuilding the house and future flood insurance claims.

At least 69 houses have been targeted for demolition, almost all of them on land near or adjacent to Swatara Creek.  The total cost is $8 million with the municipalities carrying 3 percent, or $250,000, of the cost.

But the long-term effects of the demolition will be bourn by the localities, as the properties slip from tax rolls and elected leaders are left wondering what to do with flood-prone vacant lots.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/tropical_storm_lee_fema_buyout.html#incart_m-rpt-2

Exelon Limerick Generating Station Full Sound Siren Test

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Monday June 3rd at 2:00 p.m.

Residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone around Exelon’s Limerick Generating Station will hear a full sound siren test as Exelon conducts a test of its emergency siren system.  The full sound test is performed on the first Monday in June and December as part of Exelon’s comprehensive Emergency Preparedness program.  A shorter, lower pitch test is performed monthly.

Residents may contact the counties at the following numbers if they have concerns:  Berks County (610) 374-4800; Chester County (610) 344-5000; Montgomery County (610) 631-6530.

The warning sirens are one of several methods used by county emergency management authorities to provide notification of emergencies. Individual counties may activate the sirens to warn the surrounding community of events such as fires, floods, tornados, hazardous material releases, or nuclear energy plant events. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate. In an actual emergency, residents should tune to one of the county Emergency Alert System radio or television stations for further information.  Residents should refer to the “emergency” section of their telephone books for further information or visit the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency web site, www.pema.state.pa.us.

Superstorm Weakening, Worst Has Passed For Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA — A one-two punch of rain and high wind from a monster hybrid storm that started out as a hurricane battered Pennsylvania, leaving more than a million people without power as officials prepared to assess the damage Tuesday.

The storm soaked Philadelphia and its suburbs Monday night but forecasters said the worst was behind the state by daybreak Tuesday.

Major interstates around Philadelphia reopened Tuesday morning although some speed and vehicle restrictions remained in place across the state.  Additional road closures were likely in the day ahead, as the center of the storm was forecast to turn north from the Harrisburg area.

The severity of the storm in Pennsylvania expressed itself during the day Monday through a set of increasingly worrisome numbers, from the hundreds of people who fled their homes in the southeastern part of the state to the power outages affecting more than 1.2 million customers by early Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121030/NEWS03/121039970/superstorm-weakening-worst-has-passed-for-pa-

Governor Corbett Makes Disaster Declaration In Preparation For Frankenstorm

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Predictions for the hybrid storm bearing down on the Northeast keep worsening and the tone of the coverage is growing ever more strident, so it’s no wonder the phone at Ice Cream World has been ringing off the hook.

No one’s looking to stock up on ice cream. The South Whitehall Township ice cream parlor across from Dorney Park has long been a supplier of dry ice for power outage emergencies.

A block of the frozen compressed gas can preserve the food in a powerless refrigerator for days.  And with the storm dubbed “Frankenstorm” predicted to rampage from Sunday to Wednesday with powerful winds and flooding rain, power outages are a virtual certainty.

“For years people have known we’re one of the centers for dry ice,” owner Kim MacIver said Friday. “We’ve had people show up, but we’re asking them to wait.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-frankenstorm-latest-20121026,0,5655788,full.story

13 Storm Related Deaths In Pennsylvania

Last week’s massive flooding in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has left 13 people dead.  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) listed 13 possible storm-related deaths on Sunday in the following counties:

3 Lancaster, 2 Bradford, 2 Dauphin, 2 Lebanon, 1 Chester, 1 Luzerne, 1 Philadelphia and 1 York.

Eleven Counties In Pennsylvania On List For Potential Federal Disaster Assistance

Pennsylvania county map

Image via Wikipedia

Governor Corbett has asked President Obama to declare eleven Pennsylvania counties disaster areas, which would begin the process of applying and qualifying for federal aid.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said Monday the list so far includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wyoming and Wayne counties.  More counties may be added.

Governor Corbett and Lt. Governor Cawley are touring areas of the state ravaged by Hurricane Irene.