Irene: Power outages, flooding and travel

    PennDOT has updated the list of roads closed in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. As of 4 p.m., all counties except Philadelphia were still experiencing closures, with Bucks County having the most.

    Although Irene didn’t pack the punch many feared, concerns now have turned to flooding, power outages and travel for the beginning of the work week.

    NewsWorks will continue to relay updates to you on Irene and its impacts on your work week, travel and power outages around the area.

    View another full slideshow of photos showing the storm’s impact.storm impact photos.

    Update, 4:56 p.m. The mayor of Philadelphia says there are plenty of thank-you’s to go around for surviving the storm.

    Mayor Michael Nutter says it was a total team effort to survive Hurricane Irene, including volunteers working with city employees.

    “We talked about the Philadelphia water department taking proactive action to clean inlets, and we asked citizens if at all possible without any danger to themselves to help us with inlet cleaning,” said Nutter. “The report is that there were 400 inlets cleaned prior to the storm and that is a great part of why we didn’t have as much flooding as we could have possibly had.”

    Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says people actually followed the advice of city officials.

    “We thank the public for listening to the things that we are saying, you took action on the things we asked you do it makes our job a lot easier,” said Gillison. “Some might be saying we overprepared, in public safety there is no such thing.”

    Philadelphia officials are still counting up how much the storm cost the city.

    Update, 4:45 p.m. PennDOT has updated the list of roads closed in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. As of 4 p.m., all counties except Philadelphia were still experiencing closures, with Bucks County having the most. Here’s the complete list of closures.

    Update, 3:30 p.m.  Another evacuation center has opened in South Jersey to accommodate those affected by post-Irene flooding.

    Hamilton Township is using its senior center at 13th Street and Route 50 to assist those living near the Great Egg Harbor River, which is flooding. Residents have been encouraged to evacuate, the Press of Atlantic City reports, and the center will stay open through the night.

    Update, 2:25 p.m. Though the water in the basement of Mad River Bar & Grille in Manayunk reached higher than co-owner Max Tucker’s head, he says the damage from Irene could have been worse: “We look at ourselves as being very fortunate right now.”

    Lipton said Manayunk is doing great, all things considered. “We love being by the river,” she said, “but when you’re by the river you have to give the river its due.”

    Update, 2:05 p.m. “The City of Philadelphia has done champions’ work; the street is clear the mud is removed,” Lipton told reporters. She says the Manayunk Brewery and Mad River are the only two businesses still impacted by floods, but both expect to re-open later this week as the rest of Main Street is in drying out mode. “This was a little bit worse than last September,” she said, “but not the record numbers we were expecting.”

    Update, 1:55 p.m. “Manayunk has survived yet another blow from mother nature,” Manayunk Director Corporation Director Jane Lipton said during Monday’s press conference. “Not only have we survived it but we’re doing quite well. Main Street is open from end to end.”

    Update, 1:45 p.m. Amtrak service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia will resume at 3 p.m., the Patriot-News reports, though getting farther north is still not an option. Harrisburg International Airport has fared well, only canceling on flight to Newark.

    Update 1:20 p.m. NewsWorks Contributor Brian Hickey just posted this update from the Streets Department.

    Update, 12:10 p.m. Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett has declared a disaster in eleven counties so far, and more could join the list. Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wyoming and Wayne counties are already on the list for potential federal disaster relief. The preliminary assessment of statewide damage could take several says to compile.

    Update, 11:20 a.m.

    Michael Kenwood, the Princeton First Aid and Rescue squad worker swept away in Hurricane Irene’s flood waters, has died. The 39-year-old became separated from his crew early Sunday morning while searching a submerged car to look for passengers. His is the fifth reported hurricane-related death in the state.

    Update, 8:50 a.m.

    In New Jersey, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos are expected to reopen today at noon, according to an Associated Press report. That’s that same time its Motor Vehicle Commission stations are expected to resume operations, though its Plainfield, Randolph and South Brunswick sites will remain closed for now.

    Update, 8:20 a.m.

    Things are getting back to normal in Northwest Philadelphia. Shadow Traffic confirms Main Street, Lincoln Drive, Kelly Drive and MLK Drive have reopened.

    Update, 8:10 a.m.

    SEPTA reports the Cynwyd LIne, Paoli/Thorndale Line, Manayunk Norristown Line and Trenton Lines remain suspended due to flooding and other conditions from Hurricane Irene.

    All other Regional Rail Lines, however, and all other SEPTA services are running smoothly this morning.

    You may notice some slight delays on some lines.  Some buses may be detoured due to downed trees and flooding.

    Update, 7:30 a.m.

    PSE&G says at this time, there are approximately 265,000 PSE&G customers without power across New Jersey due to the Irene and flooding.  At the same time, utility workers have already restored power to 240,000 customers impacted by the storm.

    Currently, 6,000 employees are working to restore power, including out-of-state linemen and an additional 50 crews from Ohio and 540 tree contractors.

    PSE&G says the majority of its customers should expect to have their power back within the next 48 hours, however, the company recommends residents prepare outages up to seven days.

    Heavy rain and storm sruge from this weekend is also causing gas outages.


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