Gov. Rendell Raises Activation Level of State Emergency Operations Center

HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced that at 8 p.m. Thursday, the state emergency operations center in Harrisburg will increase its activation level in anticipation of a storm that is expected to bring heavy rain and significant snowfall throughout the commonwealth.

The increased activation will also continue to track the low- to moderate-flooding present throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

“With so much snow and ice from previous storms having melted after the warm weather we had earlier this week, the ground is very saturated and water levels are on the rise,” Rendell said. “Pennsylvanians who live in high-risk flood areas–along rivers, creeks and streams–should be aware of conditions around them and take emergency precautions if necessary.

“Because we are dealing with two different storm systems, some areas in central and eastern Pennsylvania could see between 6-12 inches of snow over the weekend, in addition to the heavy rain that is forecast for the southeast,” Rendell said.

Rendell advised residents to take caution when traveling on snow- and sleet-covered roadways. Motorists within Pennsylvania may call PennDOT’s 24-hour, toll-free road condition hotline at 888-783-6783 for interstate conditions. Out-of-state motorists can call (717) 783-5186. For assistance in the event of an emergency, call 911.

To effectively respond to the storms, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management

Agency is continuing its communication with the National Weather Service and counties to assess local and regional weather conditions. The Level III SEOC activation will include personnel from other state departments and agencies including: PennDOT, the state police, and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The American Red Cross will also staff the SEOC.

For additional emergency preparedness and winter safety information, as well as current weather advisories visit the PA Emergency Management Agency Web site.

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