The Bucks County Emergency Operations Center was opened at 5 a.m. Monday as Hurricane Sandy approached the region, county officials said.
Emergency shelters are open at Council Rock North School, 62 Swamp Road, Newtown; Pennsbury East High School, Hood Boulevard, Fairless Hills; and Palisades High School, 35 Church Hill Road, Kintnersville. Pennsbury East and Palisades are pet friendly; pets are not permitted at Council Rock North.
All non-essential county government offices are closed. Commissioner Chairman Rob Loughery signed a Declaration of Emergency for the county on Sunday.
Residents are urged to remain alert and watch rivers and streams. When rivers and streams such as the Delaware River and Neshaminy Creek rise, nearby residents should move quickly to higher ground, officials said in a statement.
“Don’t drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water,” Loughery said. “The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. Turn around, don’t drown.”
Officials will monitor the storm from the Emergency Operations Center in Ivyland with officials from the 54 municipalities, Loughery said. County and local emergency management officials will deploy emergency assistance as needed.
“We also are compiling a list of communities that have filed emergency declarations,” he said.
The county Fire Marshal’s office advised residents of potential hazards when there is a power outage:
- Do not use generators, propane gas grills, heaters, lanterns or charcoal grills inside buildings. There is a danger of lethal carbon monoxide poisoning from any of those sources.
- Candles should be covered with glass shields and placed at least 12 inches away from items that burn.
- Propane tanks should be turned off.
- Propane and gasoline should not be stored indoors.
- Homes should maintain active working smoke detectors.
Storm notification alerts are available by signing up for ReadyNotifyPA.org, which is linked to the home page of the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org.
Residents can “like” Bucks County Govt on Facebook and follow @BucksCountyGovt on Twitter for updates. They also can check www.buckscounty.org for more detailed information.