Region struggles to recover

Posted: October 31, 2012

8:13 a.m.

Region: The floodgates reopen today (pardon the pun) at area shopping malls after a day that saw virtually every major indoor mall in the Philadelphia region close ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Here's early word of a batch of mall reopenings planned for later today, as well as one closure, along with opening times:

Opening at Noon:

Cumberland Mall

Exton Square Mall

Moorestown Mall

Voorhees Town Center

Willow Grove Park

Opening at 1 p.m.:

Cherry Hill Mall

Plymouth Meeting Mall

Springfield Mall

Closed:

The Gallery at Market East

King of Prussia Mall will open at 1 p.m., though Bloomingdale's will remain closed for a second day, according to a top mall official. Two other anchor stores at the East Coast's largest shopping mall will be opening promptly: Nordstrom at 11 a.m., and Lord & Taylor at noon. All other anchors plan to welcome shoppers back at 1 p.m..

Maria Panaritis

8:08 a.m.

Atlantic City: Fire personnel say the worst flooding here was in the inlet between Atlantic City and Brigantine. The department made a number of water rescues Monday night, they said.

National Guard troops had been patrolling the city, with a new shift arriving in hum-vees at the convention center early Tuesday.

Damage to Atlantic Avenue and casinos like Trump Plaza, Bally's and Tropicana was minimal.

Aubrey Whelan

8:00 a.m.

Delaware County: Edwin Truitt, director of Delaware County Emergency Services, said the county came through the storm in pretty good shape.

"Nobody got hurt. If somebody gets hurt it's a disaster. If nobody gets hurt it's a major inconvience," he said.

Power outages are down to 6,000 homes from 27,000 on Monday, he said. The only major roadway that is still flooded and blocked off is Rose Valley Road, which sits in a bowl in Media.

Radnor is reporting that one-third of the township is without power and the high school is still open as an emergency shelter.

"We had a tremendous amount of wires down, trees down, but we've been sending fire companies out all night long to address those issues," Truitt said. "To the best of my knowledge we don't have any trees blocking highways that would hinder PECO crews from restoring power." Workers are still monitoring Darby Creek, whose watershed extends 26 miles so it still is absorbing storm water.

Schools remain closed as do county offices, with the exception of the bureau of election which is open for absentee ballots for next week's election.

Kathy Boccella

7:44 a.m.

Washington Square Park came thru Sandy intact. Lot of leaves on ground but dog walkers already out. Flame at Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Washington Square Park still extinguished but trees around it standing tall.

Diane Mastrull

7:30 a.m.

Chester County: Emergency operations spokesman Rob Linnenbaugh reported a quiet night in Chester County, with only minimal flooding of the East Brandywine Creek in Downingtown, "which remains above flood level," he said. Several roads had been flooded, but those waters have receded. Route 322 in East Bradford Township is closed between Frank Road and Copeland School Road, he said, along with several other secondary roads, which he was not able to immediately name.

A tree fell on a house in the 100 block of Cambridge Road in West Caln Township at 10:02 p.m, requiring an emergency crew to help the resident, a woman, escape, Linnenbaugh said. She was not hurt, but the tree blocked her ability to leave the house. Linnenbaugh said he did not know the age of the woman. She was taken to Brandywine Hospital to be examined.

Linnenbaugh said emergency managers would assess damage throughout the day.

Jane Von Bergen

7:10 a.m.

New Jersey: "I think the loses are going to be incalculable," N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said in a 7:10 a.m. interview on The Today Show.

Christie said three are known to have died in storm-related incidents.

"We have a battered, battered New Jersey shore," Christie said..

The governor said there are active search and rescue missions in the hardest hit areas, especially Atlantic City, much of which was underwater, and Moonachie, Bergen County, where a broken area levee helped flood the town.

Christie said there are four rescue boats now in Atlantic City and 21 New Jersey State Troopers, as well as federal search and rescue teams.

Christie said he was on the phone at midnight with President Obama and said the federal government's, "response has been great" and that Obama, "has been outstanding about this."

He also commented on his blasting yesterday of Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, who opened city shelters, despite Christie's declared state of emergency that ordered evacuations.

"The fact of the matter is, I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered there . . . unfortunately, they got a mixed message."

Christie said he believes New Jersey will qualify for major federal assistance, but, added: If I have to make budget cuts to do this, we'll do it."

"New Jersey is a tough place," Christie said. "We'll recover from this."

Frank Kummer

7:04 a.m.

Bucks County: A tree fell on two teenagers at about 7:30 p.m. Monday in Levittown, injuring one of them seriously, said John D. Dougherty Jr., director of emergency management in Bucks County. He said they were taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in Langhorne.

Tree damage has been pretty bad throughout the region, particularly in Tinicum and Nockamixon Townships in the northern end, he said. However, a tree fell onto a house in Levittown and damaged it badly. "The biggest problem we have in Bucks County are the trees that are down," he said.

Dougherty said the downed trees and damage from high winds are the worst he has seen in 20 years. "Most of the times we get bad flooding," he said. "But we've only had three to four inches of rain over 48 hours. We might have had some flash flooding, but none of the creeks or rivers have flooded."

PECO crews have just returned to the county to begin coping with the 185,000 people without power, Dougherty said. Because of the winds, crews had not been out from midnight until about 6 in the morning.

Today's task, he said, is for emergency managers in the municipalities to drive through their regions reporting damage to him and assessing a dollar value to it. Then he'll report it to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, PEMA.

Jane Von Bergen

7 a.m.

Doylestown: Bristol Road in total darkness with vas power outages and fallen trees.

Jennifer Lin

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