Mayor Michael Nutter told Manayunk and Shawmont residents to prepare for a 2 p.m. evacuation Sunday if current forecasts for Hurricane Sandy come true.
In a televised press conference Friday afternoon, the mayor warned residents in traditional flood plane areas of Philadelphia to be ready to leave Sunday for what could be a troubling Monday.
"Don't wait. If your home has flooded in the past, make plans now to stay with relatives," Nutter said, highlighting Manayunk, River Road in Shawmont, and Lincoln, MLK and Kelly Drives as some specific areas.
With Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. looking on, the mayor said at City Hall that current forecasts indicate Hurricane Sandy could reach its apex throughout Monday, causing 55 mph winds, flooding to the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and downed trees.
"Ultimately our hope is that Sandy will stay out to sea as far as possible, but that's not the plan," Nutter said. "The good news is Hurricane Irene prepped us... but this has the potential to be just as bad or worse."
Currently, city shelters are not activated, but if the storm stays on its current trajectory, Roxborough High School and West Philadelphia High Schools will serve as refuges for displaced Philadelphians.
Throughout his press conference, Nutter emphasized advanced preparation.
"Do not wait until Monday to find out what to do. You need to evacuate if you live in a flood prone area. You should be prepared to leave home or residence by early Sunday afternoon, no later than 2 p.m.," he said.
The city's Office of Emergency Management is coordinating efforts with city agencies—like the Streets Department and Philadelphia Water Department—and external ones, like SEPTA, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Over the weekend, Nutter said PWD would target storm drains in flood-prone areas to clear them.
Visit the OEM website for more information.