Cranberry is making plans to deal with Hurricane Sandy, the major weather event also dubbed the "Frankenstorm."
The massive east coast storm, which is converging with two other weather systems, is expected to result in downed power lines, communication service disruptions, flooding and flying projectiles, even in Western Pennsylvania.
The full fury of the storm is not scheduled to hit the area until Monday night.
Many of Cranberry's departments already are at work cleaning basins, checking equipment, setting up the township Emergency Operations Center and reviewing emergency plans in preparation for heavy rain and high winds, according to the township.
Cranberry Fire Chief Brian Kovac said the fire company has its engine gassed and chainsaws ready to go if firefighters are needed during the storm. The fire company also will have crews staffing its two stations.
"Everything is all ready to go in case we need it," he said.
Cranberry public safety officials also are advising residents not attempt to move fallen trees from roadways that bring down power lines because these pose a significant danger of electrocution.
In addition, if a roadway floods, do not attempt to drive through standing water. Its depth may turn out to be greater than even an SUV can handle, putting first responders at risk in case a rescue is required. In case of a power outage, Kovac recommends using flashlights instead of candles because candles pose a fire safety risk.
Governor Tom Corbett also has urged every household in the state to secure a supply of batteries, drinking water, medicine, non-perishable foods and supplies for any babies or pets as quickly as possible.
Locally, residents should also prepare for the possibility of power loss extending over several days. The same high winds that can bring down lines also will make it difficult for technicians to repair them until the storm passes, according to the township.
Heavy rains pose a significant risk of flooding, particularly in low-lying areas and for those homeowners who live near streams. If serious flooding appears imminent, Cranberry public safety officials will issue evacuation advice.
Anyone living in a home likely to experience flooding is encouraged to identify alternative places where they can stay before any call for evacuation is issued, according to the township.
Cancellations and Delays
Many planned events are being rescheduled to minimize motor vehicle traffic and to limit possible injury resulting from the storm.
The township already has postponed its trick or treat schedule from Wednesday, Oct. 31 to 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
The parks and recreation department also has canceled the hip hop dance class scheduled for tonight, Monday Oct. 29 due to the inclement weather.
Trick or treat at the Target in Cranberry tonight (Monday) is proceeding as scheduled—for now.
Trash collections for Tuesday, Oct. 30, currently are on schedule. Residents are asked to secure their trash and recycling cans, curbside, if possible.
If cans are partially filled, consider holding them for next week. If weather conditions deteriorate, pickups may be delayed.
Residents may also check Cranberry's municipal website for public safety messages, traffic alerts, cancellations and changes in schedule for local events.
To sign up for Cranberry Connect Alerts via email or text, go to www.cranberrytownship.org/cranberryconnect.
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