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 October 26, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Warn Residents of Potential Flash Flooding, Power Outages with Hurricane Sandy

HARRISBURG, PA (October 26, 2012, 11:45 a.m.)As Hurricane Sandy, now a Category 1 storm, moves toward Pennsylvania, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III are warning residents, particularly those near flood-prone areas, to closely monitor weather conditions and prepare for potential power outages and flash flooding along creeks and streams.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the hurricane will impact the mid-state late Sunday through Monday and produce showers and thunderstorms, with periods of heavy rainfall and high wind. The storm is estimated to last a few days. Dauphin County is projected to expect two to four inches of rain over a 48 hour period depending on the system’s track, beginning Sunday night. Flash flooding in low-lying and slow draining infrastructure locations could likely occur.  Additionally, high winds will likely accompany the storm which could lead to widespread power outages.  Although snow instead of rain is slightly possible, it most likely would occur in higher elevations, according to NWS.  
“Our Emergency Management Operations Center is prepared to open, if necessary, to allocate any resources to local officials,” said Pries, who has oversight of the county’s Emergency Management Agency.  “There is a potential for flash flooding with this storm, so we’re monitoring the forecast very closely.  Please stay attentive, especially if you live along Swatara Creek or other tributaries, for potential flooding, and stay tuned to local media outlets for updates.”
“If you live in low-lying, flood-prone areas, move belongings out of basements and secure any items that are outside, such as patio furniture, in order to protect your property,” said Haste.  “And in the event of a flash flood, move to higher ground immediately, and be prepared to evacuate.  It could save your life.” 
Follow these simple safety tips to prepare:
  • Monitor local news stations for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be very cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • During high winds, seek shelter indoors, move to a windowless, interior room, in a low part of the building, or take cover under a sturdy object or against an interior wall.
“High wind gusts, which are expected with this storm, can down trees and power lines, so please use extreme caution if you must travel,” said Hartwick.  “At this time, you should start preparing for the storm by making sure you have emergency supplies, such as a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, water, non-perishable food and other items, in your home.”
Report a power outage immediately by:
Check the status of your power outage by:
  • Visiting PPL’s online Outage Center, or
  • Calling the Urgent Response Service at (484) 634-3381.
In the mid-Atlantic, winds could reach up to 75 miles per hour in gusts during the height of the storm which will be fairly prolonged. Residents are urged to stay tuned to local news outlets for up-to-date information and advisories.

Category: Commissioners
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