Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers are preparing to help direct traffic and rescue people surrounded by floodwaters. Guard members haven't been sent out on missions yet, but Sergeant Matt Jones said 500 troops are reporting to armories in the south central and southeastern parts of the state. "The soldiers that have been called up so far are just making sure that they're ready to go out on a mission as soon as one's called in," said Jones. "So they're getting their vehicles ready, they're filling up their water jugs, making sure they have their food and the food that they're going to distribute, making sure all that's ready to go."
More soldiers could be activated depending on how much longer the rain continues. Jones said about one thousand soldiers were called in as the state prepared to deal with storm damage from Hurricane Irene. The National Guard is taking orders from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), which answers requests from municipalities and counties.
PEMA spokesman Cory Angell said numerous evacuations have taken place in Sullivan, Susquehanna, Bradford, and York Counties, and around the Knoebel's amusement park in Northumberland County. "There's some mobile home parks, campgrounds, that were located along waterways that were affected and people had to leave there, they had to be evacuated," said Angell.
Temporary shelters are set up in those five counties for people who can't stay in or get to their homes due to flooding. Angell said even if the rain stops falling over Pennsylvania, flood advisories will continue.