Harrisburg – October 30, 2012 – (4:30 p.m.) In an afternoon conference call briefing, Robert Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and Glenn M. Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, outlined new developments relating to Hurricane Sandy and the impact that the storm has had on Pennsylvania.

According to information conveyed during the briefing, there were 903 Pennsylvanians in shelters and there have been three fatalities as a result of the hurricane striking Pennsylvania.  As of mid-afternoon, 41 counties have issued disaster declarations and 1.2 million citizens were without power – 570,000 in PECO’s service area in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. There is the potential that power may not be restored for seven to 10 days.

Although the storm was making its way out of the state, Pennsylvania may still feel the impact of the storm. Two large shelters were being opened at West Chester University and East Stroudsburg University.

Also it was noted that hospitals, nursing homes and counties needed generators and that some schools may remain closed due to energy and flood issues.  There has been no interruption of welfare benefits.

In regards the election, an extension has been granted to apply for an absentee ballot if county courthouses – and the elections offices – were closed due to the storm.  The length of the extension is dependent upon the number of days the elections board was idled.  The original application deadline was today.