Hurricane Sandy hit Lancaster City beginning on Monday and is expected to affect the area until Wednesday, though a number of factors could cause the storm to last even longer.
There are many reasons Sandy is expected to be worse than many of the storms in previous decades. According to an Associated Press article on The Weather Channel website titled “5 Reasons Sandy will be Epic,” there are four circumstances that will affect the Lancaster area. The fifth is high tides, which Lancaster does not need to worry about.
The first reason Sandy may have extreme effects on the Lancaster area is due to the nature of the storm system.
Unlike traditional hurricanes, which draw their strength from the warm air systems over the oceans, Hurricane Sandy is classified as an extratropical storm, which draws strength from contrasts in temperatures and air flows. This difference means Sandy will not lose its destructive energy as it remains overland, as would a normal storm, but could in fact become stronger if weather systems change.
Another concerning fact the article addressed, was the possibility the storm could merge with a cold front from the West, possibly pulling the storm further inland, causing the weather to linger longer and causing more extensive damage.
In addition to a cold front from the West, meteorologists expect Sandy to merge with cold winds coming down from Canada. This merger would give the tropical storm wintry qualities and cause up to two feet of snow in higher elevations.
Finally, the combination of hurricane force winds, at speeds of up to 74 mph in some areas and wintry conditions are expected to cause widespread power outages across PA and the rest of the Northeast.
With all of these things in mind, Hurricane Sandy holds the potential to cause serious damage to the College and the surrounding area. Since the damage could impede travel and cause wide spread power outages, students should take necessary measures to ensure the safety of their personage and property during and immediately after the storm.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there are several things students can do to mitigate potential harms during severe weather.
Students should stock up on water and nonperishable food that does not require electricity to prepare, ensure all furniture is brought into a safe area and out of areas that are flood prone, and find a place within your building that is a safe shelter.
Also, students need to prepare for the possibility of power outages by charging phones, laptops, and other electronic devices in advance and ensuring alternate light sources are available for the night-time hours. The use of surge protectors is advised.
When the storm is raging, stay as far away as possible from windows. Additionally, avoid any kind of traveling, including walking.
Overall, Sandy poses a severe threat to the Lancaster area and students should be prepared for the long term.
Questions? Email Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.