Disarray, millions without power in Sandy’s wake By TED ANTHONY | Associated Press – 58 mins agoEnlarge PhotoAssociated Press/Seth Wenig – Kim Johnson looks over the destruction near her seaside apartment in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, …more
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The most devastating storm in decades to hit the country’s most densely populated region upended man and nature as it rolled back the clock on 21st-century lives, cutting off modern communication and leaving millions without power Tuesday as thousands who fled their water-menaced homes wondered when — if — life would return to normal.A weakening Sandy, the hurricane turned fearsome superstorm, killed at least 50 people, many hit by falling trees, and still wasn’t finished. It inched inland across Pennsylvania, ready to bank toward western New York to dump more of its water and likely cause more havoc Tuesday night. Behind it: a dazed, inundated New York City, a waterlogged Atlantic Coast and a moonscape of disarray and debris — from unmoored shore-town boardwalks to submerged mass-transit systems to delicate presidential politics.”Nature,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, assessing the damage to his city, „is an awful lot more powerful than we are.”More than 8.2 million households were without power in 17 states as far west as Michigan. Nearly 2 million of those were in New York, where large swaths of lower Manhattan lost electricity and entire streets ended up underwater — as did seven subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn at one point, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.The New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day from weather, the first time that has happened since a blizzard in 1888. The shutdown of mass transit crippled a city where more than 8.3 million bus, subway and local rail trips are taken each day, and 800,000 vehicles cross bridges run by the transit agency.
Photo By LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS2 hrs 58 mins agoA damaged house is seen after Hurricane Sandy passed through in the greatly affected community of Atlantique on Fire Island, New York October 30, 2012. Millions of people were left reeling in the … more
Consolidated Edison said electricity in and around New York could take a week to restore.”Everybody knew it was coming. Unfortunately, it was everything they said it was,” said Sal Novello, a construction executive who rode out the storm with his wife, Lori, in the Long Island town of Lindenhurst, and ended up with 7 feet of water in the basement.The scope of the storm’s damage wasn’t known yet. Though early predictions of river flooding in Sandy’s inland path were petering out, colder temperatures made snow the main product of Sandy’s slow march from the sea. Parts of the West Virginia mountains were blanketed with 2 feet of snow by Tuesday afternoon, and drifts 4 feet deep were reported at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border.With Election Day a week away, the storm also threatened to affect the presidential campaign. Federal disaster response, always a dicey political issue, has become even thornier since government mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And poll access and voter turnout, both of which hinge upon how people are impacted by the storm, could help shift the outcome in an extremely close race.As organized civilization came roaring back Tuesday in the form of emergency response, recharged cellphones and the reassurance of daylight, harrowing stories and pastiches emerged from Maryland north to Rhode Island in the hours after Sandy’s howling winds and tidal surges shoved water over seaside barriers, into low-lying streets and up from coastal storm drains.Images from around the storm-affected areas depicted scenes reminiscent of big-budget disaster movies. In Atlantic City, N.J., a gaping hole remained where once a stretch of boardwalk sat by the sea. In Queens, N.Y., rubble from a fire that destroyed as many as 100 houses in an evacuated beachfront neighborhood jutted into the air at ugly angles against a gray sky. In heavily flooded Hoboken, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan, dozens of yellow cabs sat parked in rows, submerged in murky water to their windshields. At the ground zero construction site in lower Manhattan, seawater rushed into a gaping hole under harsh floodlights.One of the most dramatic tales came from lower Manhattan, where a failed backup generator forced New York University’s Langone Medical Center to relocate more than 200 patients, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care. Dozens of ambulances lined up in the rainy night and the tiny patients were gingerly moved out, some attached to battery-powered respirators as gusts of wind blew their blankets.In Moonachie, N.J., 10 miles north of Manhattan, water rose to 5 feet within 45 minutes and trapped residents who thought the worst of the storm had passed. Mobile-home park resident Juan Allen said water overflowed a 2-foot wall along a nearby creek, filling the area with 2 to 3 feet of water within 15 minutes. „I saw trees not just knocked down but ripped right out of the ground,” he said. „I watched a tree crush a guy’s house like a wet sponge.”In a measure of its massive size, waves on southern Lake Michigan rose to a record-tying 20.3 feet. High winds spinning off Sandy’s edges clobbered the Cleveland area early Tuesday, uprooting trees, closing schools and flooding major roads along Lake Erie.Most along the East Coast, though, grappled with an experience like Bertha Weismann of Bridgeport, Conn.— frightening, inconvenient and financially problematic but, overall, endurable. Her garage was flooded and she lost power, but she was grateful. „I feel like we are blessed,” she said. „It could have been worse.”The presidential candidates’ campaign maneuverings Tuesday revealed the delicacy of the need to look presidential in a crisis without appearing to capitalize on a disaster. President Barack Obama canceled a third straight day of campaigning, scratching events scheduled for Wednesday in swing-state Ohio, in Sandy’s path. Republican Mitt Romney resumed his campaign with plans for an Ohio rally billed as a „storm relief event.” And the weather posed challenges a week out for how to get everyone out to vote. On the hard-hit New Jersey coastline, a county elections chief said some polling places on barrier islands will be unusable and have to be moved.”This is the biggest challenge we’ve ever had,” said George R. Gilmore, chairman of the Ocean County Board of Elections.By Tuesday afternoon, there were still only hints of the economic impact of the storm. Airports remained closed across the East Coast and far beyond as tens of thousands of travelers found they couldn’t get where they were going.Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted the storm will end up causing about $20 billion in damages and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated losses up to $15 billion — big numbers probably offset by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to longer-term growth.”The biggest problem is not the first few days but the coming months,” said Alan Rubin, an expert in nature disaster recovery.Sandy began in the Atlantic and knocked around the Caribbean — killing nearly 70 people — and strengthened into a hurricane as it chugged across the southeastern coast of the United States. By Tuesday night it had ebbed in strength but was joining up with another, more wintry storm — an expected confluence of weather systems that earned it nicknames like „superstorm” and, on Halloween eve, „Frankenstorm.”It became, pretty much everyone agreed Tuesday, the weather event of a lifetime — and one shared vigorously on social media by people in Sandy’s path who took eye-popping photographs as the storm blew through, then shared them with the world by the blue light of their smartphones.On Twitter , Facebook and the photo-sharing service Instagram, people tried to connect, reassure relatives and make sense of what was happening — and, in many cases, work to authenticate reports of destruction and storm surges. They posted and passed around images and real-time updates at a dizzying rate, wishing each other well and gaping, virtually, at scenes of calamity moments after they unfolded. Among the top terms on Facebook through the night and well into Tuesday, according to the social network: „we are OK,” ”made it” and „fine.”round midday Tuesday, Sandy was about 120 miles east of Pittsburgh, pushing westward with winds of 45 mph, and was expected to turn toward New York State on Tuesday night. Although weakening as it goes, the storm will continue to bring heavy rain and flooding, said Daniel Brown of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.Atlantic City’s fabled Boardwalk, the first in the nation, lost several blocks when Sandy came through, though the majority of it remained intact even as other Jersey Shore boardwalks were dismantled. What damage could be seen on the coastline Tuesday was, in some locations, staggering — „unthinkable,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said of what unfolded along the Jersey Shore, where houses were swept from their foundations and amusement park rides were washed into the ocean. „Beyond anything I thought I would ever see.”Resident Carol Mason returned to her bayfront home to carpets that squished as she stepped on them. She made her final mortgage payment just last week. Facing a mandatory evacuation order, she had tried to ride out the storm at first but then saw the waters rising outside her bathroom window and quickly reconsidered.”I looked at the bay and saw the fury in it,” she said. „I knew it was time to go.”_Contributing to this report were Katie Zezima in Atlantic City, N.J.; Alicia Caldwell and Martin Crutsinger in Washington; Colleen Long, Jennifer Peltz, Tom Hays, Larry Neumeister, Ralph Russo and Scott Mayerowitz in New York; Meghan Barr in Mastic Beach, N.Y.; Christopher S. Rugaber in Arlington, Va.; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa.: John Christoffersen in Bridgeport, Conn.; Vicki Smith in Elkins, W.Va.; David Porter in Newark, N.J.; Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh; and Dave Collins in Hartford, Conn._Follow Ted Anthony on Twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonyted
A day after Sandy, New Yorkers find a changed city By COLLEEN LONG and ERIN McCLAM | Associated Press – 51 mins agoEnlarge PhotoAssociated Press/Richard Drew – Two women shop for groceries by flashlight in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. ConEd cut power Moday to some neighborhoods served by underground …more
NEW YORK (AP) — Stripped of its bustle and mostly cut off from the world, New York was left wondering Tuesday when its particular way of life — carried by subway, lit by skyline and powered by 24-hour deli — would return.Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the power company said it could be the weekend before the lights come on for hundreds of thousands of people plunged into darkness by what was once Hurricane Sandy.Bloomberg said it could also be four or five days before the subway, which suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, is running again. All 10 of the tunnels that carry New Yorkers under the East River were flooded.In one bit of good news, officials announced that John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark International Airport in New Jersey will reopen at 7 a.m. Wednesday with limited service. New York’s LaGuardia Airport remains closed.Sandy killed 18 people in New York City, the mayor said. The dead included two who drowned in a home and one who was in bed when a tree fell on an apartment. A 23-year-old woman died after stepping into a puddle near a live electrical wire.”This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced,” Bloomberg said.For the 8 million people who live here, the city was a different place one day after the storm.In normal times, rituals bring a sense of order to the chaos of life in the nation’s largest city: Stop at Starbucks on the morning walk with the dog, drop the kids off at P.S. 39, grab a bagel.On Tuesday, those rituals were suspended, with little indication when they would come back. Schools were shut for a second day and were closed Wednesday, too.Coffee shops, normally open as close as a block apart, were closed in some neighborhoods. New York found itself less caffeinated and curiously isolated from the world, although by afternoon it had begun to struggle back to life.Some bridges into the city reopened at midday, but the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, connectingBrooklyn to Manhattan, and the Holland Tunnel, between New York and New Jersey, remained closed. And service on the three commuter railroads that run between the city and its suburbs was still suspended.Gov. Andrew Cuomo said bus service would be restored at 5 p.m. EDT, on a limited schedule but free. He said he hoped there would be full service on Wednesday, also free.The New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day, the first time that has happened because of weather since the 19th century, but said it would reopen on Wednesday.Swaths of the city were not so lucky. Consolidated Edison, the power company, said it would be four days before the last of the 337,000 customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn who lost power have electricity again.For the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County, with 442,000 outages, it could take a week, Con Ed said. Floodwater led to explosions that disabled a power substation on Monday night, contributing to the outages.New Yorkers were left without power to charge their iPods and Kindles and Nooks for the subway. Not that there was a subway. People clustered around electrical outlets at a Duane Reade drugstore to power up their phones.At a small market called Hudson Gourmet, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, cashiers made change by candlelight and shoppers used flashlights to scour the shelves.Lee Leshen used the light from his phone to make his selections — three boxes of linguine and a can of tomatoes. His power was out, but the gas in his stove worked, so he could cook. He said he almost never cooks but is learning.John Tricoli, his wife, Christine, and their 6-year-old twins spent Monday night holed up in their 11th-floor apartment in one of several lower Manhattan office buildings that were converted to condos in the 2000s and have drawn young families. Once the power went off at 7 p.m., there was a major challenge — no TV.By candlelight, „we colored, we read, we played games — old school,” Christine Tricoli said as the family emerged to go on a walk on Tuesday that started with a trek down 11 flights of stairs.”There was even talking,” she said.The city modified its taxi rules and encouraged drivers to pick up more than one passenger at a time, putting New Yorkers in the otherwise unthinkable position of having to share a yellow cab with a stranger.Livery cabs and black sedans, normally allowed to pick up passengers only by arrangement, were allowed to stop for people hailing rides on the street.The landscape of the city changed in a matter of hours.A fire destroyed as many as 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood in Queens. Firefighters said the water was chest-high on the street and they had to use a boat to make rescues.In Brooklyn, Faye Schwartz surveyed the damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood, where cars were strewn like leaves, planters were deposited in intersections and green Dumpsters were tossed on their sides.”Oh, Jesus. Oh, no,” she said.The chief line of demarcation Tuesday ran through Manhattan’s Chelsea section. Above 25th Street, delis did business and traffic lights worked. Below 25th Street, nothing.For some New Yorkers, the aftermath of the storm stirred memories of the blackout of August 2003, when a cascading power failure in the Northeast left the city without power for parts of two days. This time, as then, there was no sign of looting or widespread crime. Nine people in all were arrested on charges they stole from a gas station, an electronics store and a clothing store in Queens.But the 2003 blackout was a communal experience, with strangers lounging on stoops and bars blaring music into darkened neighborhoods. This time, people had to stay indoors and wait.At a darkened luxury high-rise building in lower Manhattan, resident manager John Sarich was sending porters with flashlights up and down 47 flights of stairs to check on people who live there.He said most people stayed put despite calls to evacuate. One pregnant woman started having contractions, and Sarich said that before the power went out, he nervously researched online how to deliver a baby.”I said, ‘Oh boy, I’m in trouble,'” Sarich said. The woman managed to find a cab to take her to a hospital.Bloomberg told reporters that the storm deaths were tragic but said the city pulled through better than some people expected, considering the magnitude of the storm.The mayor said: „We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet.”_Associated Press writers Meghan Barr, Verena Dobnik, Frank Eltman, Tom Hays, Larry Neumeister, Karen Matthews, Alexandra Olson, Jennifer Peltz, Hal Ritter and Ralph Russo contributed to this report.
‘Waffle House Index’ Guides FEMA By Edward Lovett | ABC News – 1 hr 38 mins agoEnlarge PhotoABC News – ‘Waffle House Index’ Guides FEMA (ABC News)
An ambulance is stuck in over a foot of snow off of Highway 33 West, near Belington, W.Va. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Belington, W.Va. Superstorm Sandy buried parts of West Virginia under more than a foot of snow on Tuesday, cutting power to at least 264,000 customers and closing dozens of roads. At least one death was reported. The storm not only hit higher elevations hard as predicted, communities in lower elevations got much more than the dusting of snow forecasters had first thought from a dangerous system that also brought significant rainfall, high wind gusts and small-stream flooding. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
A vehicle drives past a fallen tree limb caused by heavy snow during a blizzard caused by Hurricane Sandy in Garrett County, western Maryland October 30, 2012. Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to swaths of the densely populated region, swamped New York’s subways and flooded streets in Manhattan’s financial district. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
Backpacker Will Overman of Virginia Beach, Va., heads to his car Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Gatlinburg, Tenn. About 50 backpackers took shelter in the park during Sunday night’s snowfall. Rangers expect more snow and high winds in the days to come as fallout from the storm pounding the East Coast. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, J. Miles Cary)
Sheeps try to find food and shelter beside pine trees laden with heavy snow during a blizzard from Hurricane Sandy in Garrett County, western Maryland October 30, 2012. Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to swaths of the densely populated region, swamped New York’s subways and flooded streets in Manhattan’s financial district. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER ANIMALS)
Snow falls in Elkins, W.Va., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, a day after Sandy slammed the eastern coast of the Unites States. In some parts of West Virginia the collision of multiple storm systems could produce up to 3 feet of snow. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
A freight truck (L) and smaller pickup truck are stuck in snow on Interstate 68 in Garrett County, western Maryland, October 30, 2012. Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to swaths of the densely populated region, swamped New York’s subways and flooded streets in Manhattan’s financial district. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
A vehicle travels a freshly plowed road Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, after superstorm Sandy moved through Elkins, W.Va. Sandy buried parts of West Virginia under more than a foot of snow on Tuesday, cutting power to at least 243,000 customers and closing dozens of roads. At least one death was reported. (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)
A small front loader tractor clears snow in Grantsville, Maryland October 30, 2012. Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to swaths of the densely populated region, swamped New York’s subways and flooded streets in Manhattan’s financial district. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
Sandy wreaks havoc on East Coast by Yahoo! News
We asked our Yahoo! News readers, contributors and Twitter followers what’s happening as the storm hits the East Coast — here are their tweets and photos. We’ll keep updating it as the storm continues.
Inside Breezy Point: An Inferno in a Flood By ABC News | ABC News – 4 hrs agoEnlarge PhotoABC News – Inside Breezy Point: An Inferno in a Flood (ABC News)
National Guard comes to aid of flooded Hoboken, NJ By Associated Press – 8 mins agoEnlarge Photo Associated Press/Mike Groll – A firehouse is surrounded by floodwaters in the wake of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Hoboken, N.J. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple …more
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey National Guard arrived Tuesday evening in Hoboken to help residents of the heavily flooded city on the Hudson River across from New York City.Officials announced the Guard’s arrival in messages on the city’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. It says Guard members will use high-wheeled vehicles to help evacuate residents and deliver supplies to flooded areas in the mile-square city.Hoboken was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, which flooded roughly half the town of 50,000 people.Mayor Dawn Zimmer had asked for the Guard’s help late Monday, saying thousands of residents were stuck in their homes.”We have two payloaders and we’re trying to go in where we can to help people, but we have small city streets and payloaders cannot fit down” them, Zimmer said Tuesday night on MSNBC.”We’ve got live wires in the waters, and the waters are completely contaminated and getting more contaminated,” she said. „It’s rain water mixed with sewage water; it’s becoming more sewage water.”Hoboken resident Polina Pinkhasova, a 27-year-old engineering student, has been volunteering at a shelter in the city, where water is still 3 feet deep in spots and the power remains out.”Once the sun sets, complete darkness,” she told The Associated Press. „You really can’t see anything.”Her house is on dry land, but she has seen evidence of price-gouging, saying she paid $14 at one store for three small bags of chips and a small bottle of cranberry juice, both expired.P.J. Molski, a 25-year-old graphic designer who lives in Hoboken, said that his place is dry but that his car, which he left parked on a flooded street, won’t start.Almost every basement apartment he has seen in the small city, which makes the most of its housing stock, is flooded, he told the AP.”There are just pumps going all over the city of people trying to get the water out of their basement apartments,” he said.
5 weather-related deaths in Pa. from storm By MICHAEL RUBINKAM and PATRICK WALTERS | Associated Press – 11 hrs agoEnlarge Photo Associated Press/Jacqueline Larma – A fallen tree lies on top of a car in south Philadelphia Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012. Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without power, and an eerily …more
LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A one-two punch of rain and high wind from a monster hybrid storm that started out as a hurricane battered Pennsylvania, leaving more than a million customers without power as officials began assessing the damage Tuesday.The storm soaked Philadelphia and its suburbs Monday night, but forecasters said the worst was behind the state by daybreak Tuesday.Gov. Tom Corbett said landlocked Pennsylvania managed to avoid the catastrophic damage seen in coastal communities but still faced serious challenges from the powerful winds and heavy rains that lashed the state.”Anybody without electricity is probably not saying we dodged a bullet,” he said.The severity of the storm in Pennsylvania expressed itself through a set of increasingly worrisome numbers, from the hundreds of people who fled their homes in the southeastern part of the state to the power outages affecting more than 1.2 million customers by early Tuesday.At least five deaths were attributed to the storm. They included an elderly Lancaster County man who fell from a tree he was trimming in advance of the approaching storm and a teen who struck a fallen tree while riding an ATV in Northampton County.An 8-year-old boy died when a tree limb fell on him in Franklin Township, north of Montrose. In Berks County, a 62-year-old man died after a tree fell on top of a house in Pike Township near Boyertown. And in Somerset County, a woman died when the car she was riding in skidded off a snowy, slushy roadway and overturned into a pond.PECO reported 585,000 without power in Philadelphia and nearby counties, a total which would fluctuate as residents awoke to find their service disrupted.”This will still be multiple days,” PECO spokesman Fred Maher said Tuesday morning. „We’ll be able to get a lot of folks back up pretty quickly, but it’ll take us several days to get everybody back to power.”About 3,000 repairmen from Ohio, Kentucky and Chicago were poised to help the state’s utilities restore service.PPL Corp. said the storm caused 395,000 outages in its service territory, enough to rank it among the top 3 or 4 in its history. Crews were out at daybreak taking stock of the damage, and the company planned to send up a chopper to do an aerial survey. A spokesman said power might not be fully restored for a week or more.”From a weather standpoint, this is a much larger, more powerful and dynamic storm than Hurricane Irene last year,” PPL spokesman Michael Wood said. „Outages just accumulated remarkably fast.”Between 2 and 6 inches of rain fell in eastern Pennsylvania, according to the National Weather Service. High winds were reported across the state with peak gusts of 81 mph reported in Allentown.The storm snapped trees all over the state. Caution tape blocked both streets at one South Philadelphia intersection where splintered trees had landed on top of vehicles.Downed trees and power lines and flooding forced a significant number of road closures across the eastern part of the state. PennDOT reopened Interstates 95 and 676 in the city and previously closed stretches of I-76 and 476 on Tuesday morning but reported much work still needed to be done.High winds were so bad at one point PennDOT pulled its crews off the roads for a time for safety reasons, spokesman Charles Metzger said.”As many trees as we’re going after, we had more trees coming around our guys,” he said.Government offices, many courts and countless schools were shuttered on Monday and remained closed at least through Tuesday. US Airways canceled all flights Tuesday out of Philadelphia International Airport and the city’s transit system was preparing to assess damage before making a decision on restarting service.Corbett extended Tuesday’s absentee ballot application deadline for a day or two for counties where the courthouses were closed Monday, Tuesday or both.Two juveniles were injured in Levittown on Monday night, one of them seriously, when a tree fell on them while they were outside during the storm, said John D. Dougherty Jr., the county’s director of emergency services. Fallen trees also slowed fire trucks responding to a house fire in Tinicum Township, he said, and the home burned to the ground; no one was injured.Flooding, a major fear following last year’s inundations, proved to be only a minor issue by Tuesday morning.The biggest concern in Blair County was the Juniata River. County emergency management director Dan Boyles was optimistic Tuesday morning after it appeared the worst of the storm had passed.”Water-wise, we’re in great shape. No flooding whatsoever,” Boyles said. „The Juniata held. … Our only concern is the duration of the power outages.”The National Weather Service said breezy and rainy weather will persist through Tuesday, but wind gusts aren’t likely to top 30 mph as the storm’s center churns through central Pennsylvania. Snow associated with the hybrid storm hit upper elevations in western Pennsylvania, including 9 inches reported on Mount Davis, the highest point in the state.The Red Cross set up 58 evacuation centers that could shelter 31,000 people. Hundreds of people were evacuated in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bensalem Township and Darby Borough, where officials feared overnight floods.”I’m not going through this again,” said Sheila Gladden, who left her home in Philadelphia’s Eastwick neighborhood. „They’re telling me this is going to be worse than (1999 Hurricane) Floyd because this is some superstorm. I’m not going back until the water’s receded.”President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Pennsylvania early Monday that will allow state officials to request federal funding and other storm assistance._PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corp.–Associated Press writers Genaro C. Armas in State College, Pa., and Randy Pennell in Philadelphia contributed to this report.