Sunday hurricane update: some campuses without power

UPDATE: Sunday, Aug. 28: According to, Hurricane Irene caused dangerous flooding and widespread damage across southeastern Pennsylvania, leaving half a million people without power. A power outage has caused Penn State Schuylkill to close today (Sunday, Aug. 28). Penn State Abington also is closed today. That campus announced today's closure in advance of the storm. Penn State Lehigh Valley is without power and phone service, and has canceled the nursing graduation. Check for updates. No reports have been received from other Penn State campuses. The revised impact map can be seen at right.

UPDATE, 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27: The National Weather Service has updated its storm impact map for Hurricane Irene. More eastern Pennsylvania counties now are projected to experience tropical storm winds and rain, and more counties have been added to the region that could experience flooding or flash-floods. Additional counties, including those containing Penn College and Penn State's Mont Alto, Dickinson, Altoona and University Park campuses, are expected to receive periods of heavy rain as Irene moves up the coast in the next 24 to 48 hours. For updates, visit online.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Irene are expected to impact southeastern portions of Pennsylvania from the afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 27 through the evening of Sunday, Aug. 28. The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia and Delaware counties, and a tropical storm warning for Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties. A flood watch is in effect in those locations, as well as in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton counties. It is expected that the area may see record-setting amounts of rainfall, and there is potential for damaging wind.

While many campus locations likely will not feel the effects of the storm, the areas surrounding Penn State’s Abington, Brandywine, Great Valley, Schuylkill, Berks, Lehigh Valley, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre and Worthington Scranton campuses likely will be affected. Residents in those areas should keep a close eye on weather reports and should prepare accordingly. To stay abreast of the latest warnings and watches for southeastern Pennsylvania, visit online. For a map of Penn State campuses and the storm’s projected impact on each, visit online.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is urging residents across the commonwealth to prepare for the storm. In the event that roadways become impassable or power is lost, PEMA advises residents to be prepared to survive on their own without outside assistance for at least three days; emergency crews will not be able to reach everyone immediately after the storm has passed.

Residents should keep the following on-hand:

-- Flashlights and extra batteries;
-- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries;
-- First aid kit and manual;
-- Emergency food and water;
-- Non-electric can opener;
-- Essential medicines/prescriptions;
-- Cash, credit cards and important legal documents; and
-- Sturdy shoes.

If residents are ordered to evacuate they should do so without hesitating and should take important papers with them, including:

-- Checkbooks;
-- Driver's license;
-- Credit card information;
-- Birth certificates;
-- Social Security cards; and
-- Other forms and documents proving ownership/identity.

For more information from PEMA, download a PDF containing the entire announcement at online.

For information about preparing for a hurricane, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website, at online; information about preparing for flooding can be found at online.

Students, faculty and staff at campuses in the affected area should sign up for PSUTXT text-message alerts if they haven’t already, by visiting online. In the event of campus closures or delays, information will be distributed via PSUTXT text message, on Facebook at and on Twitter at online. In an emergency situation, residents should call 911; damage or flooding in campus buildings should be directed to the campus’ OPP service desk.