Evacuations and emergency declarations

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to leave millions in the northeast without power due to wind damage, flooding and storm surge. The storm is expected to do billions of dollars of damage to the northeast. It is currently responsible for the death of at least 58 people from its travels over the Caribbean including Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

Sandy is expected to be more destructive than Hurricane Irene in 2011 that caused $15 billion dollars of damage. Northeast utility companies are stocking up on extra crews and tree-trimmers in preparation for storm damage and power outages. Utility providers are calling on companies outside the area to send as much help as possible.

Hurricane Sandy could be near equivalent or worse than The Long Island Express, a 1938 hurricane that killed 800 people and is considered the worst east coast hurricane on record.

The White House is saying President Obama has told emergency management personnel that the federal government will do everything in its power to provide resources for state and local officials to keep people safe along the East Coast.

Sandy had weakened to a tropical storm on Saturday but regained strength to a category 1 hurricane Saturday afternoon.

Sandy is currently tracking toward New York City with land impact expected between Delmarva Peninsula and Rhode Island. The storm is expected to then move into central Pennsylvania and then north. New York City officials said Storm surge could deliver 4 to 8 feet of water to the subways. A full moon will be making the flooding worse. The loss of power for days or weeks will be a possibility in the storm.

The backside of hurricane Sandy could deliver possibly several feet of snow to mountainous regions of West Virginia, eastern Ohio and southern Pennsylvania.

In Maryland and Virginia, flood watches were issued in the District, as well as in Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, Arlington and Falls Church counties. A coastal flood watch was issued for all of Maryland’s beaches, as well as Virginia Beach.

Airlines are reporting the pending cancellation of flights. Some airlines are allowing passengers to change flights without a fee.

The U.S. Navy is moving ships from the Norfolk Navy Station in Virginia out to sea to escape the storm’s path. The Navy is moving 24 of the larger ships from southeastern Virginia bases including the USS Harry Truman including ships at Norfolk, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

States that have declared a state of emergency:
1. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Maine and Massachusetts

Through regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, FEMA will continuously monitor Sandy and will remain in close coordination with state and tribal emergency management partners in Florida and the potentially affected Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

New York

The MTA will decide on Sunday if it is going to shut down the bus and subway system.

New York City officials are considering the evacuation of 375,000 from flood prone areas.

Suffolk County officials have declared a mandatory evacuation of Fire Island including up to 300 residents.

Long Island should expect to feel the start of the storm late Sunday night with wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour.

In New York City, officials activated the city’s coastal emergency plan, with subway closings and the evacuation of residents in areas hit during Hurricane Irene in August 2011. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that some residents should prepare to evacuate.[44] New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for every county in the state. Cuomo was also asking for a pre-disaster declaration to get better access to federal assistance.

New Jersey

In Cape May County, New Jersey, officials advised residents on barrier islands to evacuate on October 26, which will become a mandatory evacuation on October 28. There was also a voluntary evacuation for Mantoloking in Ocean County.

Connecticut

“Be forewarned,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Assume that you will be in the midst of flooding conditions, the likes of which you may not have seen at any of the major storms that have occurred over the last 30 years.”

Connecticut utilities, which also ran into problems after Irene, are reportedly among those calling up the 5,000 power company personnel requested for the Boston-Connecticut area.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter asked residents in low lying areas and neighborhoods prone to flooding to leave their home by 2 p.m. October 28 and move to safer ground.

Virginia:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney cancelled a campaign appearance scheduled for Sunday in Virginia Beach. Vice President Joe Biden also cancelled an appearance there scheduled for Saturday.

Maryland

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have signed a Resolution to Declare a Local State of Emergency due to the potentially adverse effects from Hurricane Sandy. The declaration makes effective the St. Mary’s County Emergency Operations Plan.

Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for all Maryland counties as the State continues to monitor Hurricane Sandy and its potential impact. The declaration gives the state flexibility to activate the Maryland National Guard and provide assistance to local emergency managers.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for our area beginning late Sunday night through Tuesday.

North Carolina

Resident of Hattares Island fear a temporary bridge set up after Hurricane Irene could give out, preventing access.

Tropical Storm Warnings are currently issued for South Santee River in North Carolina to Duck, North Carolina.

On October 26, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency for 38 counties in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, taking effect October 27.

Maine

On October 26, Maine’s Governor Paul LePage signed a limited emergency declaration, that allows power crews from other states and/or Canada to help Maine prepare for Hurricane Sandy. The declaration will help Maine power providers pre-place their crews by extending the hours their crews can drive.

Massachusetts

in Massachusetts, the state’s emergency management agency has started issuing situational awareness news releases

Washington D.C.

On October 26, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray declared a state of emergency for the nation’s capital. He said agencies will work throughout the weekend to prepare the city for Sandy.

The three major commuter systems in the D.C. area — Metro, the Maryland Transit Administration and Virginia Railway Express — plan to continue normal operations until conditions require otherwise.

The transit agency began placing sandbags around vent shafts and station entrances of the subway system. Crews had also begun checking pumping stations that will funnel water out of the stations, ensuring that drains were clear and that enough chain saws were available if there were downed trees. Also, additional rail and bus supervisors are being called in to work at control centers.

The MTA began mobilizing emergency operations and maintenance workers, said spokesman Joe Sviatko.

Spokespeople for public school districts in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area asked people to check their Web sites periodically over the weekend, but agreed if Sandy stays on its forecast track schools are not likely to be open on Monday.

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