Pa. sets up shelters for N.J., N.Y. evacuees

    As Sandy moves north, Gov. Tom Corbett is sending help to neighboring states dealing with major damage in the wake of the storm.

    Corbett says Pennsylvania is certainly better off than some coastal states.

     

    “From what I see of the damage going on in New York and New Jersey — the storm surge, the record wave heights, the tide heights – yeah we dodged a bullet, in that respect,” the governor said Tuesday morning. “But anybody who’s without electricity probably is not saying that we dodged a bullet.”

    Corbett has opened two “megashelters” at state system schools for out-of-state evacuees.

    “Those are primarily for the New York and New Jersey but if people in the area need it, they can go there,” he said.

    One megashelter will be loacted at West Chester University and another at East Stroudsburg University. They will be able to accommodate up to 1,300 and 500 people, respectively.

    Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency director Glenn Cannon says the commonwealth is sending medical resources to New Jersey upon its request, including 35 ambulances and what’s called a “mass casualty bus.”

    It’s “a very large vehicle that allows you to transport more people than you can an ambulance,” Cannon said.

    “So it’s not that there are large numbers of dead folks that they’re trying to deal with, that’s not the case, but because we have this very sophisticated piece of equipment in Pennsylvania, they know it, it’s been asked for,” he said.

    Meanwhile, speed and vehicle restrictions were lifted Tuesday morning on all but Interstate 90 and Interstate 79 in the northwest.

    Another 100 National Guard soldiers have been deployed throughout the commonwealth, bringing the total to 1,700.

    Roughly 600 people have checked into shelters statewide, which have the capacity to take in 31,000 people.

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