Philadelphia braces for Hurricane Sandy, closes schools and subways

May­or Nut­ter an­nounced that SEPTA's buses, trol­leys and re­gion­al rail lines would halt ser­vice overnight Sunday. Schools and city of­fices are closed today, and the re­gion is drenched in heavy rains. The worst gusts of wind from the Cat­egory One hur­ricane were ex­pec­ted between 4 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tues­day.

Fels High School is the nearest shel­ter in the North­east. Cur­rently, there are 46 people and 11 pets. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

The city of Phil­adelphia es­sen­tially shut down on Monday in an­ti­cip­a­tion of the ar­rival of the worst of the brute force of Hur­ricane Sandy.

SEPTA buses, trol­leys and re­gion­al rail lines shut down between mid­night Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday. City of­fices were closed and only pub­lic safety and emer­gency ser­vice per­son­nel were ex­pec­ted to re­port to work on Monday.

The Phil­adelphia School Dis­trict and the Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia schools, as well as many charter schools, did not re­open for classes on Monday.

“This is all about pub­lic safety,” Nut­ter said at a Sunday news con­fer­ence. “We do not what our chil­dren out in hur­ricane-dan­ger­ous winds, trees and pos­sibly tree limbs fall­ing, power lines on the ground and flood wa­ters rising.

“Chil­dren as well as adults should not be out in those con­di­tions.”

The hur­ricane, now a cat­egory one hur­ricane, star­ted with rains on Sunday night that turned in­to heavy rains on Monday. Winds were ex­pec­ted to pick up Monday af­ter­noon. The strongest gusts were ex­pec­ted between 4 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tues­day.

The storm was ex­pec­ted to bring heavy rains, 5 to 10 inches between Monday morn­ing and Tues­day morn­ing.

Flood­ing of the Delaware and Schuylkill were likely, and streams and creeks, such as the Pennypack, were ex­pec­ted to rise over their banks.

This North­east Times web­site will con­tin­ue to post up­dates throughout the storm. Please check back for more in­form­a­tion.

Read­ers are asked to email storm pho­tos and in­form­a­tion about flood­ing, street clos­ures, storm-re­lated dam­age as well as can­cel­la­tions to Write storm in the sub­ject line.

Ed­it­or Lil­lian Swan­son can be reached at 215-354-3030 or lswan­

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