Chester County prepares for impending nor'easter

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Chester County prepares for impending nor'easter
Chester County prepares for impending nor'easter. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on March 20, 2018.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- Crews have already begun the process of treating the roads while waiting for the nor'easter.

The big operations center in West Chester will open early Wednesday morning, and they plan to be ready.

So how will the storm play out? Will trees and wires in this County of 500,000 load up with heavy wet snow? Will branches pushed by wind snap plunging tens of thousands of people into darkness?

The center will have to wait on Mother Nature to see how to operate. But Bobby Kagel, Director of the Dept. of Emergency Services says, "We have everything from transportation to communication, and we have somebody that oversees the infrastructure."

Twelve to Twenty-four hours from now this emergency operations center will be packed with county specialists responding to the storm and in face to face contact with other agencies.

"Like PECO, PennDOT and the National Guard and the state police agencies' real role in response to any kind of emergency," Director Kagel said.

Director Kagel has dealt with a lot of storms. He says the county will be prepared for a major weather event.

But he says this storm is tricky, the multiple forecasting sources he watches seem uncertain as to what will happen.

"There are challenges with this storm because there is such uncertainty in the model," Director Kagel added.

His biggest concern revolves around power outages. He mentions the 2014 ice storm.

"We had 90% of the county without power for almost seven days, and that's a serious problem, and the reality is, we could see that again with this storm, so preparing for this uncertainty is what we are doing now," said Director Kagel.

So, they are preparing for the worst but certainly hoping for the best.


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