Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rendell: State is Ready if There's More Snow

Tens of thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area could be without power through Sunday, but Pennsylvania’s top emergency managers say the state’s roadways have been cleaned up following this week’s twin snow storms.
Governor Rendell says PEMA and the Pennsylvania National Guard are focusing attention on Chester, Delaware and Bucks counties, where 70-thousand people are without power. As of 3 p.m. Thursday, about 24,000 homes and businesses are without electricity in the Pittsburgh region.
400 Pennsylvania National Guard troops are conducting presence missions in the Philadelphia suburbs without power.
That means they’re patrolling in hum-vees, actively looking for people who need food, water, help with transportation or other assistance.

More snow is expected this weekend, but Rendell says the state will be able to handle it.
"I mean, look – it becomes a fiscal challenge, but again, we’ll review that. But I think Sunday is enough time for everyone to get a little rest, and we’ll be back at it. But look, I think our folks generally look at this as a challenge that we’ve got to respond to, and I think we’ve responded real well."

General Robert French, the head of PEMA, says emergency crews are busy state-wide.
"Definitely the weather improving today is going to give us some relief, give the first-responders a chance to actually finish up some of the work that they’re doing, and help with some of the power outages across the commonwealth."

Interstates 83, 81 and Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Expressway and Blue Route opened up this morning, and I-78 was back on line by early afternoon.

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