As Hurricane Irene makes her way up the eastern seaboard residents in the Northwest section of Philadelphia prepare for the storm.
Although Philadelphians have not been mandated to evacuate, Mayor Nutter has recommended that residents take the necessary precautions to brace themselves for impact and urged them to evacuate to a shelter or other safe location if necessary.
Earlier in the day, before bands of rain moved in, many area residents came out to attend Germantown High School’s back to school bash. Mt. Airy resident Amira Cutts said, “I do not believe Hurricane Irene will be as serious as its being reported.” Carolyn Faris of East Falls added, “I am prepared but we will see what happens, hopefully it is not as bad as the news says it is.”
Area stores were crowded as the normal Saturday errands took a back seat to storm preparation. At Walmart in Cedarbrook, shelves that usually held bottled water were empty and the supply of bread was dwindling. Propane camping lanterns and batteries were popular items.
One shopper at Pathmark at Wayne and Chelten admitted, “I hope the news is blowing Hurricane Irene out of proportion but I am following the instructions given from the Mayor.”
In Glenside gas Micheal Mansell was filled his car with gas along with two five gallon canisters. The extra gas was for generators to power sump pumps if electricy goes out. “I’m trying to help myself, and my neighbors. Keep us from flooding”.
Maria Lucas bought vodka and rum at the Wine and Spirits shop on Easton Road for an impromptu hurricane party. Lucas is housing 3 family members who were evacuated from Somers Point, NJ. “We’ll drink away our sorrows”, Lucas said with a smile.
Within the past week, Hurricane Irene has lowered its intensity to a category 1 making it appear to be weaker, but Linda Kern who is a resident of Germantown and a disaster assistance worker for FEMA said, “Everyone should still take this hurricane seriously. “I have seen people lose everything they own and no one wants to be in that position.”