Highlands are Ready for the Megastorm

Oct 29, 2012

Somerset County says it is ready to go when it comes to the “Frankenstorm” brewing over Pennsylvania.  The county and the rest of the Laurel Highlands stand at a high enough elevation that the area could see some wet snowfalls.

“We are a ‘snow county,’ we’re used to the snow,” said Somerset County Emergency Management Agency Director Richard Lohr. 

The heavy, wet snow could bring down power lines, but the power companies in the area are prepared to respond, said Lohr, who is telling residents to prepare as they would for any storm and to keep their eyes on the news, the weather reports and the environment.

“If they live near a small stream, watch that small stream and when it starts to rise they need to go to higher ground,” said Lohr.

PennDOT has gone into emergency weather mode, which includes the possibility of lowering the speed limits on highways throughout the state.  As of now all of the restrictions have been on highways farther east, but officials say they are keeping an eye on conditions through the highlands and will react as needed.

The Pennsylvania National Guard expects to have some 1,600 personnel activated for missions ranging from search and rescue to surveying damage.  Most of that activity so far has been focused on the eastern half of the state.