Berks County Likely To Be Among Hardest-Hit Inland Areas

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

High winds and heavy rains leading to power outages and flooding are expected to slam Berks County today as residents endure the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.

Berks will likely be among the hardest-hit inland areas, and officials urged residents to prepare for the worst.

“This storm has not been overhyped,” Berks County Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach said today.  “It will have significant impact.”

Leinbach said residents should have up to three days of food and supplies should there be widespread power outages.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=423954

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Rain Falling Harder In Lancaster County; First Power Outage Reported

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Roads are empty.

Schools are dark.

The mall is closed.

Emergency workers are at their posts.

Skies darkened and rain began falling hard as the county hunkered down, waiting for Hurricane Sandy to howl through here with its full power later today.

“Get out now,” said Mayor Rick Gray,  urging residents to evacuate in flood-prone areas of the city.  “If it doesn’t flood, thank God.  If it does flood, you’re safe.  We don’t want to be in a position to put our police officers and our firefighters in harm’s way because you didn’t evacuate.”

The first significant power outage hit late this morning, when about 600 people lost their electricity in the Elizabeth Township area, after power lines were reported down along Route 322 there.

But for most of the county, the morning was the calm before the Frankenstorm as local residents, who had days to buy flashlight batteries, stock up on water and clean out their gutters, waited for the storm.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/766797_UPDATED–Rain-falling-harder-in-county–first-power-outage-reported–.html#ixzz2AhhYq6Ia

Sandy’s Impacts Already Being Felt In NEPA

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sandy is knocking on NEPA’s door, and those who can should keep that door shut.  While the rain and wind weren’t strong for the morning commute, they will be for the ride home.  Most area schools, and many other facilities, are closed.  Flights and bus runs are canceled and driving will get tricky as the outer bands of the megastorm known as Hurricane Sandy blow around NEPA.

The National Weather Service says today’s heavier rains will begin after 11 a.m.  The high will climb to near 57.  The north wind at 11 to 16 mph will increase to 25 to 31 mph in the afternoon.  New daytime precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch are possible.  The rain will continue tonight when the low dips to around 48.  It will be very windy, with a northeast blast of 25 to 31 mph, and gusts up to 46 mph.  New nighttime precipitation amounts of between thee quarters and an inch are possible.

Richard Beasley, regional spokesman for PPL Electric Utilities, said some consumers should be prepare for lengthy power outages.

“Even with the best of preparation, people are going to lose power,” Mr. Beasley said.  “We are not talking hours here.  In some cases, we may be talking days, depending on the weather.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/sandy-s-impacts-already-being-felt-in-nepa-1.1395476

Monster Storm Closing In On Lehigh Valley Region

Icon for a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Cate...

Icon for a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Category 1 hurricane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After almost a week of ominous forecasts, the weather system born of a giant hurricane, a winter storm and an arctic air mass is upon us.  And it’s not going anywhere fast.

Across the Lehigh Valley, residents and government officials worked through the weekend to protect lives and property as Hurricane Sandy morphed into a gargantuan storm that will affect every part of the Northeast.

Although Sandy, which remained a Category 1 hurricane, was not expected to make landfall on the New Jersey coast until late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the storm’s effects have been felt since Sunday evening.  Ahead of Sandy’s landfall, every school district in the Lehigh Valley canceled Monday’s classes.  Some colleges closed through Tuesday.

The worst of the weather will persist throughout the day Monday, with sustained winds from 35 to 45 mph and gusts up to 55 mph.  That will bring down tree limbs and small trees causing power outages and property damage.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-hurricane-sandy-impact-20121028,0,6460543.story

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

Berks County Braces For Hurricane Early Next Week

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Almost a year after a freak Halloween snowstorm buried Berks County, utility companies are preparing for the possibility of more rare weather: a hurricane that forecasters say could cause trouble here early next week.

Hurricane Sandy was still a long way off northeast of Cuba on Thursday, but it seemed to be heading this way with strong winds and heavy rain that could bring flooding, property damage and power outages, AccuWeather said.

There could be wind gusts of at least 50 mph and several inches of rain, meteorologist Tom Kines said.

The worst case is that it continues on its current northward track, while the best case is that it heads east out to sea, resulting in only a normal rainstorm, he said. If severe weather comes, it will most likely arrive Monday night or early Tuesday.

Reading Eagle: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=423464

PPL Eyes Hike Of 6.3% On Average

The last year has been pretty sweet for PPL Electric Utilities customers.

PPL has cut its rates five times because it’s been able to obtain power at ever-cheaper prices and pass those better deals onto its customers.

But while the cost of obtaining power accounts for about two-thirds of the total bill, there’s a smaller, yet significant chunk.

It’s the cost of delivering that power to your door.

And now PPL wants to charge extra for providing that service, enough to negate some of that recent relief.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/615869_PPL-eyes-hike-of-6-3–on-average.html#ixzz1qqSDdRen