PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Mayor Michael Nutter says he is declaring a state of emergency for the city of Philadelphia as Hurricane Sandy approaches the region.

Nutter said Saturday that the state of emergency will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday and last until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“We are certain that a huge storm is coming in the direction of Philadelphia that poses a serious threat, … in terms of heavy rain, flooding and sustained high winds,” the mayor said.

He said there could be “24 to 36 hours of continuous heavy rain,” which combined with powerful winds could take down many trees and cause severe power outages.

In addition, he said, the rains and full moon could mean record flooding on the Delaware River and flooding on smaller streams.

There are 10,000 Philadelphians living in flood prone areas. Nutter says city residents, who have no where else to go, are welcome to stay in one of three Red Cross shelters starting at 4 p.m. Sunday.

“They are West Philadelphia high school at 4901 Chestnut Street, Roxborough High School at 6498 Ridge Avenue. And Fels School at 5500 Langdon Street.

Residents can bring pets with them. There are 200 beds at each shelter and more will be added as needed.

Officials have been warning people to get a supply of food and water as well as a battery-operated radio, secure objects outside, clear fallen leaves from rain gutters and street drains and beware of driving on flooded roads.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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