Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said he was thankful that emergency response personnel were prepared for heavy rains and high winds, but was even more thankful they were not needed.
“Allegheny County and this region was very fortunate that the storm turned and slowed down last night,” he said at an Oct. 30 press briefing. “We had no loss of life, ordered no evacuations, did not have to open any shelters, and found that all parties addressed and responded to issues quickly. I am very proud of the preparation and response of the staff and emergency responders who were on the front lines yesterday and overnight.”
Nearly all county school district cancelled classes for Oct. 30. But even the National Weather Service cancelled its high wind advisor. But even the National Weather Service had cancelled its high wind advisory by 10 a.m.
Fears of major damage caused by late season Hurricane Sandy merging with a lingering Canadian cold front and becoming what Weather Channel meteorologists continually called a “super storm” were quelled when Sandy fell apart as it came ashore near Atlantic City, NJ. It still destroyed sections of the city’s famous boardwalk and caused a record storm surge in New York City, flooding the subway and large sections of Manhattan’s lower East Side.
By the time the storm’s remnants reached Allegheny County, its winds were well below tropical storm force. Calls to County 9-1-1 were related to power outages, downed trees and some residential flooding.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett had declared a state of emergency days before the storm’s landfall, clearing the way for prompt receipt of federal disaster aid, which President Obama approved Oct. 29.
Even Philadelphia, which shut down its oil refineries in anticipation of a major strike was spared. They were back on line by this morning.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Fitzgerald.