By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) — Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett says that as of midday today, 1¼ million Pennsylvanians remained without power due to Hurricane Sandy.
At a noontime briefing today in Harrisburg, Gov. Corbett said that compared to New York and New Jersey, it appears things could have been worse in Pennsylvania, so the Keystone State is preparing to help its neighbors.
“There are two mega-shelters being established to house people coming in from out of state,” the governor said. “They’re opening one at West Chester University, at my direction, which will house people displaced from New Jersey. We’re expecting 1,300 people there.”
The other shelter is opening at East Stroudsburg University, anticipating housing about 500 people, mostly from New York.
The state is also making its 78-member Urban Search and Rescue Task Force available to neighboring states. It is most likely going to New Jersey.
Pennsylvania will also send New Jersey vehicles, including 35 ambulances.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Corbett said that comparatively speaking, Pennsylvania dodged a bullet.
“For Pennsylvania, it was probably not as bad as it could have been,” Corbett said. “But for New Jersey and New York, it was certainly pretty bad. I would say, preliminarily right now, from a damage standpoint, we’re in better shape on the flooding side this year than we were last year with Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene.”
But the governor added it was too soon to assess the situation with regard to wind damage.
Corbett said that as of 9am there were a bit more than 600 people in 48 shelters across the state.
Thirty-eight Pennsylvania counties are under emergency declarations. All hospitals in the state are operational, but 433 bridges in the state are out.