Mayor Nutter declares a state of emergency in Philadelphia

The de­clar­a­tion will take ef­fect at 4 p.m. Sunday. Three emer­gency shel­ters will open at that time, in­clud­ing one at Fels High School, 5500 Lang­don St., in North­east Phil­adelphia. The may­or en­cour­aged res­id­ents who live in flood-prone areas, in­clud­ing areas around Pennypack Creek, to move in with fam­ily and friends or go to a shel­ter.

Some areas of Frank­ford Ave. are flood­ing in the earlu hours of Hur­ricane Sandy on Moday. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter has de­clared a state of emer­gency in Phil­adelphia, be­gin­ning at 4 p.m. Sunday, as Hur­ricane Sandy con­tin­ued to roll up the East Coast.

The may­or also an­nounced the open­ing of three shel­ters, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, for res­id­ents who live in flood-prone areas. Those shel­ters in­clude one at Fels High School, 5500 Lang­don St., in North­east Phil­adelphia. The two oth­er shel­ters are Roxbor­ough High School and West Phil­adelphia High School.

Though the ex­act di­men­sion of the storm ex­pec­ted to slam the city were un­clear — a hur­ricane or a strong trop­ic­al storm — the may­or said there was no doubt that Phil­adelphia was fa­cing a ma­jor threat.

“For us, whatever it may ul­ti­mately be, we are cer­tain that a huge storm is com­ing in the dir­ec­tion of Phil­adelphia,” Nut­ter said at a news con­fer­ence Sat­urday. “It poses a ser­i­ous threat.”

Heavy rains, flood­ing and sus­tained high winds were ex­pec­ted, a triple whammy that only would be in­tens­i­fied by the high tides as­so­ci­ated with a full moon on Monday.

The rain was ex­pec­ted to be­gin Sunday af­ter­noon and be­come very heavy overnight. The rains were ex­pec­ted to last 24 to 36 hours. Sus­tained, power­ful winds were ex­pec­ted Monday and Tues­day, top­pling trees and caus­ing power out­ages.

“As a river city, we are also very con­cerned about the storm surge. We are look­ing at the pro­spect of a 4-to-8-foot rise… We could see re­cord flood­ing of the Delaware and feed­er streams and creeks like the Pennypack,” he said.

The may­or said his de­clar­a­tion of emer­gency would be in ef­fect through 5 p.m. Tues­day.

He en­cour­aged those who live in flood-prone areas, in­clud­ing areas around the Pennypack Creek, to be in touch with fam­ily and friends and be pre­pared to move out of their homes by 2 p.m. Sunday.

Those who move in­to shel­ters will find food, wa­ter and a place to sleep. They should bring com­fort items and their med­ic­a­tions, he said.

In ad­di­tion, fam­ily pets are wel­come at the shel­ters. “Please do not for­get your pets,” Nut­ter said.

Reach ed­it­or Lil­lian Swan­son at 215-354-3030 or lswan­

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