Pennsylvania officials are repeating warnings that Hurricane Sandy will have a profound impact and is expected to cause widespread power outages lasting for days.
Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett declared a state of emergency as the superstorm advances toward the East Coast. The storm is expected to come ashore late Monday or early Tuesday, most likely in New Jersey, then cut across into Pennsylvania.
Corbett warned the storm could be “historic” though its impact is expected to be less serious in the western half of the state.
The governor said gusts of up to 75 mph are possible. He said 24 counties have issued emergency declarations, while 58 evacuation centers are on standby and can shelter 31,000 people. Most areas will get 3-5 inches of rain, and some could see 6-10 inches.
Emergency Management Director Glenn Cannon said Monday that 40 mph winds expected for much of the state will uproot trees once the ground is saturated.
All flights have also been canceled out of Philadelphia International Airport, and Amtrak has suspended service until the storm blows through. Interstate 95 and Route 611 interchange near Philadelphia International Airport is closed, and high-water surges on the Delaware River and flooding in low-lying areas are expected.
State offices are closed Monday and Tuesday except for essential personnel. All Pennsylvania state appellate courts closed Monday and Tuesday; county courts closed on a county-by-county basis. Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert Powelson said Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants are remaining online.
Call 5-1-1 or visit www.511PA.com to check traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speeds on interstates and traffic cameras.
Speed limits are reduced to 45 miles per hour on highways in central and eastern Pennsylvania, including all or portions of: I-76; I-95; I-476; I-676; I-81; I-80; I-78; I-83; I-84; I-380; Pennsylvania Turnpike from New Jersey to Carlisle and the Northeast Extension; U.S. Route 1; U.S. Routes 15, 30, 22/322, 33, 202 and 422.
Prohibited on those roadways are: Overweight and over-dimensional trucks; empty straight trucks; tandem trailers and doubles; tractors hauling empty trailers; trailers pulled by passenger vehicles; motorcycles; and recreational vehicles.
Pennsylvania law imposes fines up to $500 plus emergency response costs on motorists who drive past “road closed” signs.
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