The National Hurricane Center in Miami has downgraded Hurricane Irene to category one, but Governor Corbett urges residents to stay prepared. According to the National Hurricane Center, a category one hurricane displays sustained winds 75-95 mph
The latest forecast predicts that Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties will get hit the hardest by Hurricane Irene, but South Central is also expected to experience severe winds and rain.
At a news conference yesterday afternoon, Corbett said, “I’ll be watching the storm. I’m going to be watching the storm very, very closely.” And then referenced Hurricane Agnes that hit Pennsylvania in 1972.
[Getting ready for Irene]
The 1972 hurricane dumped 18 inches of rain across Pennsylvania causing 48 deaths and $2.1 billion in damages. The Susquehanna River swelled to its record high of 32.6 feet and Hurricane Agnes earned the title of the state’s worst natural disaster.
“You never know,” Corbett said. “Do I anticipate something like that? No. But you do have to pay attention. You do have to be prepared.” Corbett plans to spend the weekend and Monday in Harrisburg monitoring the storm and responses.
He has ordered 1,500 National Guard troops in South East, South Central and Central Pennsylvania to be ready to respond wherever necessary. The governor also declared a statewide disaster emergency in advance of the hurricane’s arrival, allowing state agencies to use available resources and personnel to respond to a disaster.
Residents are encouraged to visit the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s website, for suggestions about planning and preparing for Hurricane Irene. For local or National shelter information, please visit the American Red Cross’ website.
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