Nutter: “Please stay home”

Posted: October 29, 2012

Sandy means business, Mayor Nutter said in a press briefing Sunday night.

Nutter said he had spoken to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, who told him to expect a Category 1 hurricane.

"The intensity is not lessening," the mayor said. "It's actually strengthening. Every concern that we've laid out for the past couple of days is in fact real."

Nutter said he had been told to expect five to 10 inches of rain in a fairly short period of time – the equivalent, he said, of over five feet of snow.

"This is a dangerous and very challenging weather event," Nutter said.

Widespread flooding and record-breaking tidal surges are likely, he said.

Extra police and fire personnel will be on duty through the storm, the mayor said, and he said roads should be clear for them.

"If you don't need to be out tomorrow, please stay home," said Nutter.

City Council President Darrell Clarke took it one step further.

"Hopefully, the utilities will stay on," Clarke said. "Even if they don't, stay home."

Nutter told city employees, with the exception of emergency personnel, to stay home on Monday.

Trash will not be picked up on Monday; those city residents with Monday pickup days are asked to keep their trash for an extra week.

By early evening, the city's emergency management center – a command room in the Fire Department's administration building - had been activated. It will be fully operational by 6 a.m., Nutter said.

The mayor said he had spoken to President Obama, who offered help if the storm is as bad as promised.

"The president emphasized that FEMA is ready for action to deal with Hurricane Sandy," Nutter said.

Contact Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146, or on Twitter @newskag.

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