Two Johnstown firefighters were among an 80-person FEMA team activated Saturday to assist with potential search and rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Gov. Wolf announced Friday that members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 would also be deployed to Louisiana to assist in the recovery efforts.
“Hurricane Ida is a dangerous storm that is forecast to impact the Gulf Coast. As preparations for landfall commence in the South, our Task Force 1 members are ready to serve wherever they are needed,” Gov. Wolf said. “On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I thank the task force for their willingness to serve in emergencies.”
We will see the leftovers of Hurricane Ida here in Western Pennsylvania this week, according to public safety officials.
Art Martynuska, the Cambria County EMA & 911 Director, said the county is making preparations for prolonged downpours.
“We’ve increased staffing in our 911 center in preparation and anticipation of more calls,” he said.
“We have daily updates via email and a couple conference calls a week with PEMA and some other groups regarding the status of Ida, where it may impact, and how it may impact,” he continued.
The Wolf Administration says the remnants of Hurricane Ida are expected to merge with another weather system, bringing 3 – 6 inches of rain to parts of PA.
According to the National Weather Service, rain is expected to begin late Tuesday night in Southwest PA, with the heaviest rain expected Wednesday.
“Have a situational awareness. They should have preparations with flashlights, batteries, some food, and water in case we have an extended power outage,” Martynuska said.
He said they’ve been in contact with the Red Cross and are keeping their shelter list updated for possible evacuations.
“Understand that if anything happens we’re prepared to respond. It might take some time to respond, but we will be there,”
Ida made landfall Sunday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history.