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Superstorm Sandy: Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald Expresses Relief

Emergency Operations Center to be deactivated Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and other county officials expressed relief Tuesday morning that the region was not hit as hard as expected and praised the response and preparation of the Emergency Operations Center and emergency responders. 

“Allegheny County and this region was very fortunate that the storm turned and slowed down last night,” Fitzgerald said at a briefing Tuesday morning at the operations center.

“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," he said.  "I am very proud of the preparation and response of the staff and emergency responders who were on the front lines yesterday and overnight.” 

Fitzgerald was joined by Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson and County Manager William D. McKain. Fitzgerald and Henderson said that, barring any change in conditions, the operations center will be deactivated at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Staffing at the county 911 Center  will also begin stepping down coverage, returning to normal staffing by the night turn shift at 11 p.m.

The county Declaration of Emergency will also remain in effect while officials monitor conditions through Tuesday, Henderson said.

“We will determine at the end of business today whether it needs lifted," he said. "Obviously, by keeping the declaration in place, we can continue to provide help to our neighbors.” 

As part of that cooperation, three Type 3A Swift Water Response Teams had been deployed to Central Pennsylvania and were awaiting assignment.  The teams were briefed Tuesday morning and sent to one of two locations—Hackensack, NJ or the Bronx in New York—to assist in response. 

Most issues coming in to the county 911 center were related to power outages, downed trees and residential flooding. The latest reports indicate that the storm is slowly weakening as it drafts to the west.

Winds in Allegheny County are gusting below 35 mph, but a slow easing of the wind is expected through Tuesday.

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