State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Philly-area interstates close as Sandy moves slowly inland and turns northward

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 29, 2012 6:45 PM
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Superstorm Sandy is no longer a hurricane, but it’s still affecting a large portion of the state and at least one death has been reported.

The state shut down major interstates in the Philadelphia region, including 476, 76, 676, and 95. The City of Philadelphia will close Route 1.

State agencies are mulling the possibility of closing the Pennsylvania Turnpike as well, said Gov. Corbett.

“These conditions on the interstates and the bridges could require a closure of those bridges and interstates across the interstate at any moment,” said Corbett.

At his Monday evening briefing on storm preparations in Pennsylvania, Corbett noted Sandy’s wide berth.

“The size of the storm is so great that the high wind warning will stretch from Philadelphia to the Ohio border,” he said. Like anything that big, Sandy is moving slowly. The eye of the storm is expected to pass south of Harrisburg at 2 a.m. Tuesday before its inexorable churn northward. It won’t reach State College until 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Sustained winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour are expected, with gusts around the 70 miles per hour. High wind warnings are in effect from Philadelphia to the Ohio border. More certain projections now show about one-third of the state likely to get moderate to major flooding, according to Gov. Corbett.

With one eye on the upcoming Election Day, Corbett said the deadline for applying for absentee ballots will be extended for those offices and courthouses that closed due to the storm. No change has been made to the Friday, Nov. 2 deadline for submitting absentee ballots.

The storm has been responsible for one death, as the Associated Press reports. A Lancaster County man died Sunday. The unidentified man was trimming a tree in preparation for the approaching storm when a limb broke and he fell to his death.

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