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High wind warning issued for area

October 29, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - Bring the garbage cans and deck furniture inside today because you may not find them come Tuesday.

The approach of the remnants of Hurricane Sandy has resulted in the National Weather Service in Moon Township, Pa., issuing a high wind warning from noon today through noon on Tuesday. A flood watch also is in effect through Tuesday.

Lee Hendricks, a weather service meteorologist, said what's left of Hurricane Sandy will make a turn to the north at the mountains in central Pennsylvania, sparing the local area of much worse weather conditions.

Hendricks said the rain and wind will increase throughout the afternoon, with winds at 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 45 mph. The wind will increase to 30 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, tonight. Hendricks said the heaviest rain will fall tonight.

Conditions will improve somewhat on Tuesday, with the winds slowly decreasing. Hendricks said the windy conditions will persist through Wednesday morning, though.

Hendricks said Hurricane Sandy is joining with an upper level low, which will steer it toward New Jersey. Hendricks said such a combination of weather normally happens off the coast of the Atlantic and doesn't impact land.

"It is very odd to see something like this," he said.

The rainfall totals through the end of the weather event will be around 3 inches, the national weather service reported.

Hendricks said there could be power outages because of the wind and some flash flooding along streams and creeks because of the heavy rainfall. He said there doesn't appear to be any concern for flooding along the Ohio River, as it should crest locally toward the end of the week, he said.

The mountain ridges in West Virginia and Maryland are under a blizzard warning, with eight to 14 inches of snow predicted.

Temperatures locally are expected to remain steady in the 40s through Tuesday night, when the low is expected to dip into the upper 30s.

Carmen Prati-Miller, AEP spokesperson, said the utility company is watching the weather and has an internal meteorologist.

"All our crews are aware of the urgency of what we are going to be hit with. The equipment is ready to go," she said.

Prati-Miller said residents also need to be prepared and have fresh batteries for flashlights. She said anyone with a generator needs to make sure it can be operated in a safe manner. She also urged residents to refrain from using candles during a power outage because of the fire danger.

Bob Fowler, Brooke County director of emergency management, met with various county and local emergency officials Sunday to discuss response to power outages and any other emergencies arising from the storm.

Plans have been made to establish emergency shelters at various sites. Those needing assistance may call (304) 527-1430 or (304) 737-3660.

As a precaution, Brooke County school officials have called for a two-hour delay on Tuesday for the school district.

Superintendent Kathy Kidder said the move was suggested at the meeting led by Fowler.

"They're expecting high winds and possibly downed trees and this will give them (emergency crews) some daylight time to clear roads if needed," she said.

The Brooke County Sheriff's Department and officials in Follansbee and Wellsburg also have moved trick-or-treat hours for unincorporated areas of the county and the two cities from Wednesday to Saturday. The hours of 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. haven't been changed.

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