Hurricane Sandy weakened as it exited the Bahamas overnight, and now brings tropical storm conditions to the east coast of Florida.
If the storm heads north as predicted by the National Weather Service, it will bring heavy rain and winds into Bucks and Montgomery Counties early next week. But the forecast now shows rain starting Saturday and lasting through Tuesday.
NWS has not issued a severe weather alert for our area because the track of Sandy still remains uncertain. Hurricane Sandy has already been blamed for 21 deaths in the Caribbean.
The National Hurricane Center reports Sandy is a Category 1 storm as of Friday at 8 a.m., packing 80-mph winds (down from 105 mph) as its moves away from the Bahamas.
A tropical storm watch has been issued from Savannah River, Ga. to Oregon Inlet, N.C.
Whether Pennsylvania takes a direct hit or not, Sandy is expected to bring long periods of rain and wind.
Also adding to the threat is a cold weather mass moving into the region from the west that, when combined with Sandy, has been dubbed “Frankenstorm.”
Remember, under a new Pennsylvania law, motorists caught driving around or through “road closed” signs or traffic control devices closing a road or highway due to hazardous conditions will have two points added to their driving records and be fined up to $250.
If the storm does take a bad turn, it’s best to be prepared. Pennsylvania’s Emergency Preparedness Guide recommends these five steps:
- Have 3 days worth of food (including non-perishable food and a can opener) and other supplies in your home including important medications plus supplies for your pets.
- Know how to reach family members in case of an emergency.
- Have some extra cash on hand.
- Have a plan for what you'll do in case of a prolonged power outage.
- Assemble a storm kit that should include: Bottled water (one gallon per person per day); blankets/bedding and toiletries; baby formula, diapers, bottles and wet wipes, if needed; first-aid kit; flashlight with fresh batteries; battery-operated radio; hand sanitizer; paper plates and plastic utensils; manufacturer’s instructions for power-operated garage doors.