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Gov. Tom Corbett has declared a state of disaster emergency for Pennsylvania amid increasingly dire forecasts that show a so-called super storm hitting it and neighboring states in coming days.
Corbett's declaration comes as state emergency management officials urged residents to have three days of supplies at home, including batteries, water and food, in case of widespread power outages.
The Berks County commissioners on Friday also declared a disaster emergency.
Federal forecasters said Hurricane Sandy is expected to pummel the East Coast harder than Hurricane Irene, which last year left hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians without power and eventually led to historic flooding.
Sandy is expected to merge with a wintry front to create a mess that some have dubbed "Frankenstorm" with hundreds of miles of steady, damaging winds and rain.
The storm is already blamed for at least 39 deaths in the Caribbean.
Sandy is predicted to weaken over the next 48 hours but remain a hurricane for a couple days.
The storm is expected to track along the U.S. coastline. As it meets up along the U.S. East Coast with a storm coming from the West and a blast of arctic air, it's expected to create a super storm, forecasters said.
That, experts said, will generate gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe snow in some areas starting Sunday and stretching past Wednesday.