The City of Philadelphia continues to prepare for Hurricane Irene and its potential impact on Philadelphia. The Emergency Operations Center will open on Saturday, August 27 at 6 p.m. to monitor the storm and coordinate the City’s response and recovery activities. The City will not issue an evacuation order; however, citizens should evacuate if they are in a potentially dangerous situation and proceed to a City shelter or other safe location. The City’s 311 Call Center is currently open 24-hours through Monday, August 29. SEPTA will suspend all transit services beginning at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. All City park and recreation centers will close at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.“This is a dangerous storm, and I want to urge our residents to exercise extreme caution,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Residents and businesses in low lying areas should prepare immediately. If you need to evacuate, please leave as quickly as possible for your own safety.”
The National Weather Service is forecasting that Irene will be a Category One hurricane when it arrives along the coast of New Jersey. As a result, Philadelphia can expect:
- Rainfall amounts between six and nine inches.
- Sustained winds 50 - 60 mph with gusts reaching 70 mph.
- Rain could start as early as tonight ahead of the hurricane.
- Heavy rains could affect Philadelphia through Sunday.
- Heavy winds could affect the city Saturday night into Sunday. High winds may continue after the storm passes. The highest winds will be felt Sunday afternoon.
- Flooding of creeks and streams will likely begin on Saturday night.
- Significant localized flooding on roadways, flooding of streams, and flooding along the Schuylkill River.
- Cobbs Creek and the marsh lands in the southwest sector of the City;
- Other City creeks & streams including Pennypack, Poquessing, Tacony, Frankford, and Wissahickon Creeks;
- Main Street Manayunk;
- Portions of the Philadelphia Naval Base;
- Delaware River which is usually first observed along Delaware Ave & Ben Franklin Bridge;
- In the Northeast where Linden Avenue meets the Delaware; and
- Kelly and Lincoln Drives.
The City will open shelter operations on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the following locations:
- Bartram High School, 2401 S. 67th Street
- Lincoln High School, 3201 Ryan Avenue
- Roxborough High School, 6498 Ridge Avenue
If a Power Outage Occurs:
- Keep a battery-operated radio tuned to local news for updates.
- Disconnect or turn off all appliances that would otherwise go on automatically when the power comes back on. If several appliances start up at once, they could overload the circuits.
- To prevent food spoilage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Never touch or go near downed power lines.
A Few Items to include:
- Non-perishable food like granola bars and energy bars
- If you use canned foods, make sure you have a manual can opener.
- Have a supply of bottled water for everyone in your home.
- A battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- If you take medication, make sure you have an adequate supply for the next several days.
Do not travel, unless it is absolutely necessary or an evacuation order is called.
- Do not attempt to walk across flood water more than knee deep.
- Never drive through flooded roadways. Just two feet of moving water can sweep a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) off the road.
- Stay tuned to local news for updates.
- Sign up for ReadyNotifyPA, the region’s emergency text and email alert system at www.phila.gov/ready or texting PHILA to 411911 from your cell phone. Future updates on flooding will be sent to the Weather Warnings groups and the River - Schuylkill at Philadelphia groups.
- Monitor the National Weather Service forecasts at http://weather.gov/phi
- Check Channel 64, the City of Philadelphia’s Government Access Channel
Call PECO at 1-800-494-4000 to report electrical problems or downed power lines. Call 911 to report downed trees blocking highways. To check road conditions call 511.
Please take all precautions possible & be safe.