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Laurel Highlands Prepare For Severe Weather

LATROBE, Pa. (KDKA) -- The Laurel Highlands are ablaze with color, which under normal circumstances would be a Chamber of Commerce dream.

But the brightly colored leaves shimmering in the October sun could be a source of disaster with the approach of Hurricane Sandy from the east and an arctic storm from the west.

Emergency management officials in all the counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania are warning that leaves could cause a threat to power lines if Sandy brings snow, or for flooding if the predicted 2 to 4 inches of rain wash those leaves into a clogging mess in storm sewers.

While it's too early to know just what impact Sandy will have when it arrives, as expected Monday, the emergency managers are advising preparedness.

West Penn Power says outages from this storm could last a week or more, so people in vulnerable areas are advised to make sure they have necessities to cover a week or more.

Medications, water, food, batteries are at the top of the list. They also advise that people have multiple cell phones in their households if they lose power. Only leave one phone turned on at a time to conserve battery power. That will leave the other phones usable when the battery dies in the first phone.

Emergency managers are monitoring the movement of the weather and will issues warnings and alerts when warranted.

Friday, the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was put under a state of emergency to prepare for the storm.

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