State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Local School Districts Close in Anticipation of Hurricane Sandy; Tips to Stay Safe

by on October 28, 2012 2:54 PM

Updated at 8:35 a.m.

State College Area schools, Bald Eagle School District and the Bellefonte Area School District each closed and canceled all afternoon activities in anticipation of inclement weather that could hit the Centre Region as Hurricane Sandy travels up the East Coast. 

On Sunday at 2:54 p.m.

Governor Tom Corbett has declared a State of Emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy and forecasters are predicting severe weather through at least Wednesday – Halloween – with a high wind warning issued in State College.

Get up-to-the minute forecasts, provided by AccuWeather, to track the storm's path. 

Forecasters are predicting that what remains of Hurricane Sandy as the storm moves up the East Coast will mix with a growing trough of low pressure over the eastern part of the country to form a powerful coastal storm system. Across Pennsylvania, potential hazards associated with this storm include heavy rainfall, high winds and a chance for substantial snowfall in some areas of the state.

The winds in State College are expected to start around noon on Monday and last through 2 p.m. on Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service, winds will be North 25-30 mph with gusts reaching up to 60 mph becoming West.

High winds can mean trees coming down and some areas potentially facing long-term power outages. 

Wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts reaching 58 mph can lead to property damage, according to the National Weather Service. 

According to Penn State Live, inclement weather is expected to start in the area on Sunday night. Across Pa., the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall and the potential for flooding, with the total amount of expected rainfall increasing from the west to the east. In eastern Pa., the storm may produce damaging winds – especially on Oct. 29 and 30 – and tidal flooding along the Delaware River.

Central Pa. could experience strong winds and a chance for snow at higher elevations. Western Pa. may experience strong winds and substantial snowfall, particularly in the southwest.

In State College, the downtown Halloween parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday and trick-or-treat in the Borough is from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday. No changes have been announced. 

The Family Handyman provides tips for how to prep your home, protect your family and minimize costly damage.

  • Trim troublesome trees: Storms wreck havoc on trees—be sure to have a professional remove or trim large, high branches that are a threat to you, your property and neighbors.
  • Invest in an emergency generator: Hurricanes and other windstorms frequently cause power outages, but an emergency generator will enable you to run essential appliances and lights.
  • Prepare an emergency care kit: Make sure you assemble a survival kit so you have it ready when a natural disaster hits.
  • Establish an evacuation plan: Make sure you have an emergency evacuation plan in place to ensure the quickest route to safety.
  • Lock down: If you're at home during a hurricane, lock doors and windows to reduce vibration, and close drapes and blinds to contain broken glass. Most importantly, stay away from windows.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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