Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
PEMA is urging Pennsylvania residents to take the weekend to prepare for at least three days in their homes without power or outside assistance.
With Pennsylvania still reeling from the one-two punch of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, state House and Senate committees held a joint hearing into the notion of creating some form of state disaster assistance program, as 25 other states have.
Twenty-seven Pennsylvania counties are now covered by federal disaster declarations from recent floods. But most declarations involve damage either from Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee – not both.
At the PEMA operations center in suburban Harrisburg, Governor Tom Corbett said the focus right now is on the central part of the state, along the Susquehanna River.
Governor Corbett says the disaster declaration will enable state and local governments to respond more quickly and efficiently to any problems the storm may cause.
Officials at a suburban Philadelphia refinery say a power failure is responsible for flames and plumes of black smoke shooting from its stacks, but there is no danger to the public.