(Undated) -- People across the midstate are gearing up for high winds and heavy rain, as Hurricane Sandy approaches.
Pennsylvania is one of several states in the storm's path that have declared states of emergency. They include Maryland, Delaware and New York. Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson has declared a state of disaster emergency for the city. It goes into effect tomorrow mornig at 5:00 a.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning from 8:00 a.m. tomorrow until noon Tuesday. Winds are expected to reach up to 65 miles-per-hour during that time. A flood watch goes into effect late tonight through Tuesday evening. It means there's potential for flooding on small streams and creeks. Forecasters say the parts of the region could see up to six inches of rain by late Tuesday night.
Electric utilities are bringing in crews and equipment from other states like New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, to assist with restoration efforts.
“We strongly urge customers to prepare for the possibility of extended outages due to the enormity of Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters predict may become the worst storm to hit the Northeast in 100 years,” said Brian Wolff of the Edison Electric Institute. “Customers need to put safety first and take advance precautions should Hurricane Sandy disrupt service in their area and check their latest local weather forecasts.”
Municipalities are reminding residents to stay clear of downed power lines, never touch anything that's come into direct contact with a power line and report them immediately.
Stores in the region are reporting high-than-normal customer traffic, as folks pick up everything from water and bread to batteries, flashlights and generators. Grocery stores have planned for the increased demand and hope to have extra shipments of items on hand when the storm hits.
Dennis Curtain, a spokesman for Weis Markets, says additional workers have been scheduled to meet the demand.
"In the event of power outages, most of our stores have back-up generators, which allow them to run their front end systems," he wrote in an email to reporters. "We have to shut down and seal our cold and frozen cases, but we can sell dry groceries."
Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on witf, Radio Smart Talk will focus on Hurricane Sandy and its potential impact on the midstate.
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