Electric Utilities and FirstEn-ergy’s Metropolitan Edison were expected to arrive at thecenter by Monday afternoon, he said. Warren County opened itsemergency operations center Monday morning at the 911center on Route 57, as author-ities anticipated a high volumeof storm-related calls, saidFrank Wheatley, the county’sdirector of public safety andemergency management coor-dinator. The center will beopen for the duration of thestorm, he said.Hunterdon County’s Emer-gency Operations Center alsoopened Monday and will re-main operational as the stormcontinues to affect the area.Northampton County’scenter will be staffed aroundthe clock until further noticeand has a bank of generatorsthat can be activated in theevent of a power outage, said Angel Gillette, spokeswomanfor the county division of emergency management.“We’ll have people here24/7 from now until the situa-tion is resolved,” Mateff said,noting that post-storm effortssuch as damage assessmentsare a large part of an emer-gency response and canstretch on for days after a storm passes.Emergency officials will bein constant contact with thePennsylvania Emergency Man-agement Agency and officials inall 38 municipalities to assessthe need for aid, Mateff said.Personnel will also keep intouch with organizers of the American Red Cross of theGreater Lehigh Valley’s emer-gency shelter at 2121 City LineRoad in Bethlehem, he said. Warren County also had a backup in place to keep com-munications flowing.In case the communica-tions center loses power, a team of about 15 ham-radiooperators — part of the Radio Amateur Civil EmergencyServices — will be deployedthroughout the county to coor-dinate with authorities.The amateur operators work in coordination with thecommunications center and will be stationed at WarrenHaven and St. Luke’s Hospi-tal, Phillipsburg, with battery- powered radios, Wheatleysaid.“I always say they couldtake two sticks and a rubber band and talk to China,” Wheatley said. “They are veryastute at what they do.” A group of licensed volun-teers, the Amateur RadioEmergency Services Team isalso available to work withmunicipal emergency coordi-nators in Warren County.to a week in some parts be-cause of winds knocking downlines.Tens of thousands in New Jersey and Pennsylvania hadalready lost power as of Mon-day afternoon. Locally, thenumber of power outages wasin the thousands as of Mondayevening.
Rivers should not flood
Heavy rainfall was still a major concern for emergencycoordinators. Creeks that have historically flooded duringmajor storms were expectedto swell beyond their banks.The Lehigh and Delawarerivers, however, were not ex- pected to flood. Forecasters predicted the Lehigh River inBethlehem would crest early Wednesday morning at 7.7 feet, well below the 16 feetthat’s considered flood stage.Projections call for theDelaware River in Eastoncresting at 16.4 feet on Wednesday afternoon.Flood stage is 22 feet.These predictions were allsubject to change based on the path of the storm. Although the floodingthreat to the Delaware River basin appears to be lessened,meteorologist Patrick O’Hara cautioned that could be de- pendent on the reservoirs atthe river’s head waters in New York.“It maybe won’t do so bad-ly as some other areas,”O’Hara, who works with the weather service in MountHolly, N.J., said of theDelaware’s upper basin. “It’sstill a significant stormthroughout the state.”
Eye toward Jersey Shore
Outside the region, the sit-uation was gloomier. Hurri-cane Sandy strengthened lateMonday morning and made a turn toward the East Coast.Storm surges flooded largeswaths of the Jersey Shore andthreatened to do the same inNew York City. Virtually all commercecame to a halt in Manhattan asofficials shut down the New York Stock Exchange, publictransit and the two major tun-nels that connect New Jerseyand the island.Local residents who own property on the Jersey Shoresaid they were imploring ten-ants to leave the properties if they hadn’t already.Rachel Haddad, of Easton,owns several properties in At-lantic City and Brigantine, N.J.She said some of the tenantsare trying to ride out the stormdespite her pleas that theyleave.Back in this region, emer-gency officials were hopefulmost residents would heed warnings. NorthamptonCounty sent home allnonessential employees at 2 p.m. Monday.Most schools were closedMonday and planned to stayshuttered today. Lehigh ValleyInternational Airport was vir-tually empty; all flights werecanceled. LANTA shut downalmost all of its transit servic-es.Emergency crews put up barricades to stop traffic fromtraveling on roads that wereexpected to flood. Pennsylva-nia lowered speed limits onInterstate 78 and other major highways. A stretch of Seventh Streetin Allentown, and portions of College View Drive in Hack-ettstown were among thoseclosed to traffic.
County officials on bothsides of the Delaware River spent much of Monday firm-ing up contingency plans in theevent the power outages affecttheir essential operations.In case the Warren Countycommunication center loses power, a team of about 15 hand-radio operators — Ra-dio Amateur Civil EmergencyServices — will be deployedthroughout the county to coor-dinate with authorities. Theamateur operators work in co-ordination with the communi-cations center and will be sta-tioned at Warren Haven andSt. Luke’s Hospital inPhillipsburg with battery- powered radios, said Frank Wheatley, Warren County’s public safety/emergency man-agement coordinator.“I always say they couldtake two sticks and a rubber band and talk to China,” Wheatley said. “They are veryastute at what they do.” Angel Gillette, a spokes- woman for NorthamptonCounty’s office of emergencymanagement, said the coun-ty’s 911 center in Upper Nazareth Township isequipped with a bank of gen-erators that will power opera-tions in the event of an outage.Despite the anxiety aboutthe storm, some residents were taking the storm instride. Ed Supon, of East AllenTownship, said he’d alreadystocked up on the necessities,including gallons and gallonsof water, a small generator andfirewood.On Monday afternoon, he was among a steady stream of customers who stopped atTanczos Beverage in Hanover Township, NorthamptonCounty.“Now I’m getting beer tolast me seven days,” Suponsaid with a laugh Monday af-ternoon.
Reporters Andrew George, Sara K.Satullo, Kathryn Brenzel, PamelaSroka-Holzmann, Jeff Sistrunk,Regional Editor Kurt Bresswein,Assistant Managing Editor/Opera-tions Tony Rhodin and The Associ-ated Press contributed to thisreport.
boards into their cars.Sergio Moreira, owner of Express Employment Profes-sionals in Palmer Township, visited the Palmer Home De- pot to buy 20 sandbags for his business and needed more todeflect water from the door- way.“I’m trying to get more to-day,” he said. A Williams Township mansearched for charcoal so hecould grill once the power went, and Bill Verbics, of Palmer Township, was buyingsupplies to cover his basement window wells to keep out wa-ter.Fast-food eateries along25th Street saw a steady earlyafternoon stream of vehiclesmoving through the Burger King, McDonald’s andDunkin’ Donuts drive-throughs. The parking lot wasfull by noon at the Giant super-market in Palmer, with resi-dents stocking up on the usualmilk, eggs, bread and cannedgoods.Milton Fedd, of Easton,filled his cart with a 12-pack of water bottles, peanut butter,chips and what he describedas his “favorite comfort food”:a bag of pistachios.“The shelves are basically bare,” he reported after check-ing out. “I was finding stuff that’s not going to go bad,things you don’t need to heatto cook with.” A line formed at the Red- box kiosk outside the super-market with people interestedin renting DVDs before the power went out.“We’re looking for anythingnew that’s out right now,” saidMiller Horan, of Wilson Bor-ough, who grabbed a movie with her daughter, Brianna Horan, a senior at Wilson Area High School.Patrick Sessions, of BucksCounty, who works for Poly-tek Development Corp. in Williams Township, was recy-cling water jugs outside theGiant, noting he already had10 gallons and was stocking upanother five gallons. He alsofilled up the gas tank in his car and got gasoline for his power generator, he said. At Frank & Dot’s Beer De- pot in Easton, a clerk by 1 p.m.said he sold the last three 20- pound bags of ice. Sales of beer and cigarettes were steady.Easton resident Angelo Ortizstopped in for two packs of cig-arettes and a candy bar — thelast purchases before thestorm, he said.“I hope we just get the rain hard but no flooding,” he said.
Ready for Sandy
Ed Supon on Monday after-noon declared himself readyfor Sandy.The East Allen Townshipresident had gallons and gal-lons of water in his home, a small generator set up in thegarage — he keeps the door open to keep carbon monoxidefrom accumulating — andenough firewood to keep warm for five days.“Now I’m getting beer tolast me seven days,” Suponsaid with a laugh Monday af-ternoon at Tanczos Beveragein Hanover Township,Northampton County.Supon was just one of a steady stream of customersstopping at Tanczos to stockup. Customers said that de-spite warnings to stay home,they weren’t concerned to bedriving and running errands because rain was light and winds had not yet picked up.Manager Chris Matla saidthe store sold out of ice and water over the weekend butshelves were restocked for Monday.“It was like July Fourth weekend here,” Matla said. “It was crazy.”Tanczos planned to stayopen until it didn’t make senseanymore, he said. The storetypically closes at 9 p.m. Mon-days. As soon as the doorsopened Monday morning, cus-tomers were hauling cases of beer up to registers.“This Monday morning was like a typical Friday atrush hour,” Matla said.Sam Kalic, of Bethlehem, has a house full of guests fromEurope for her daughter’s wedding this weekend in New York City.Kalic said she was trying tostock up on food and drink andthen planned to head homeuntil Wednesday morninglikely.“I’m certainly not going to be on the road tonight or to-morrow,” Kalic said.
Plenty of businesses closedMonday. The Lehigh ValleyMall made the call Sundaynight. Sears and Bon-Ton re-mained open for a brief periodat the Phillipsburg Mall, which otherwise was closed.The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board closed all itsliquor stores statewide in an-ticipation of Hurricane Sandy.The board planned to contin-ue to monitor weather condi-tions to determine whether the stores will remain closedor reopen as scheduled today.The Shoprite in GreenwichTownship was closed, but theRedbox kiosks outside thefront door still drew a crowd. Victor Narra, clerk of Park- way Liquors & Deli, at Memo-rial Parkway (Route 22) andSouth Fourth Street in Lopat-cong Township, was openeven though he said business was slow.He didn’t want to open, buta contractor was scheduled toswing by and finish recon-struction of the store’s outside wall after a truck crashedthough it Oct. 10.Narra said people are pan-icking because of the proximi-ty to the Delaware River, evenas forecasts indicated it wouldcrest well short of flood stage.“It’s scary,” he said. “Theydon’t want to lose anything.”
Continued from A1
Hurricane doesn’thold back shoppers
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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