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The Post  
Philadelphia and South Jersey Under Hurricane Warnings
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/27/11 2:50 am | updated: 08/27/11 2:50 am
The entire Philadelphia area, Delaware, and South Jersey is under Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warnings. Hurricane Irene is on course to reach our area Saturday night into Sunday with the eye going right up along the coast. The warnings mean that all areas will experience powerful winds up to hurricane forces 74+, heavy rains 4-10 inches, widespread flooding, and tidal flooding and storm surge near the coastal areas. This storm is very wide and will be felt hard far inland from the center.

All of South Jersey's shore towns and coastal regions have been evacuated. Atlantic City casinos are closed for only the third time in history. An eerie silence fell over the shore for a weekend in August, some workers sandbagging said it was even quieter than the winter. There is a curfew in Atlantic County from 9 pm to 6 am. Cape May, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties were evacuated Friday.

Hopefully everyone obeyed the mandatory evacuations and left, if not they are on their own. Utility companies said that services will remain on, however, if they are disrupted due to the storm, they do not know how long if may take to get them back up. Authorities also said that they may not be able to respond to emergency calls during the storm to anyone who didn't leave.

In the Philadelphia area we have to prepare as well. Make sure loose items in the yard or by the pool are brought in, put away, or tied down. Move parked cars from areas that might flood or become a drainage path for water.

Although we will experience strong winds, the major factor will be the heavy rains and flooding. This month has been the wettest month on record ever with 13 inches so far. It will not take much for streets, streams, rivers, anything to flood. WIth anywhere from 4-10 inches of rain expected we can see a lot of flooding.

The storm surge will coincide with a high tide on the Delaware River around 1 - 2 am Sunday morning, and combine with a New Moon to push a lot of water up from the Delaware Bay. Businesses in Manayunk between Main Street and the Canal were busy sandbagging in case of flooding, and were others along flood prone creeks in the area.

If you live in an area prone to flooding, make preparations to protect your property, however necessary. More importantly, you may also need to make arrangements to stay somewhere else Saturday night so you don't get caught in a flooded house or neighborhood. If your basement takes on water, make sure you have a mop and bucket ready in case power goes out and the sub-pump can't run.

The best thing to do once this storm starts, is to stay home and stay safe. Leave the roads open for emergency and utility personnel.

Additional Hurricane Advice

WHAT TO DO: Take Action When a Hurricane Threatens

Depending on your location, you could be told to evacuate before a warning or even a watch is issued by the National Hurricane Center. Notify someone unaffected by the storm about your whereabouts.

No later than when a watch is issued:

Fill vehicles with gas.
Get extra cash.
Fill prescriptions.
For mobile homes, secure tie-downs and prepare to evacuate when ordered.
Bring in loose objects from outside.
Prepare to secure all windows with shutters or plywood.

No later than when a warning is issued:

Secure all windows with shutters or plywood.
Place valuables and important papers in a waterproof container and store on highest floor
of home.

If you are told to evacuate:

Follow all instructions from local officials, and leave immediately when told to do so.
Bring emergency supplies listed above.
Bring copies of important papers such as insurance policies and list and photos of your home’s contents.
Bring blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.
Unplug appliances, turn off electricity and main water valve.
Lock windows and doors of your home.

If you are not told to evacuate:

Stay at home! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate.
Clean bathtub with bleach, fill with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).
Set fridge to maximum cold and keep closed.
Turn off utilities if told to do so by local officials.

During a Hurricane

Go to an interior room on the lowest level of the structure in which you’re taking shelter.
Stay away from windows and doors, even though they’re covered with shutters or
During extremely strong winds, lie under something sturdy such as a stairwell or large piece of furniture.
Do not go outside, not even during passage of the eye. If the eye passes directly over you, the winds could become very weak, but only for a very short period. It will not be long before hurricane-force wind resume, blowing from the opposite direction as before the eye arrived.

After a Hurricane

Help might not come for up to a few days, and power could be out for days or even weeks.
Avoid driving on roads covered by water and/or debris. It is often difficult to determine the depth of water covering a road. Turn around, don’t drown.
Avoid downed power lines. Stay away from objects that are touching a downed power line, such as a fence or tree.
Do not touch anything electrical if you are wet. Stay out of water that could be touching anything electrical, such as in a basement with electrical appliances, or in flooded areas outside where there could be downed power lines.
Only use a generator in an outdoor, well-ventilated area, and closely follow manufacturer’s instructions. Many people have died in the aftermath of a hurricane from inhalation of poorly ventilated carbon monoxide from a generator.
Use flashlights instead of candles for light. Candles pose a serious fire hazard
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