UPDATE: Gov. Tom Corbett stepped to the microphone for Tuesday’s midday storm update after spending a half hour on the phone with President Barack Obama, who held a conference call with a number of governors whose states are affected by the storm.
Giving few details of the call, Corbett said the president understands that Pennsylvania still is dealing with Superstorm Sandy and is making the federal government’s resources available to the commonwealth.
Obama signed an emergency declaration for Pennsylvania early Monday that allows state officials to request federal funding and other storm assistance.
Corbett said it is too early to tell what funds Pennsylvania might qualify for; damage assessment numbers will not be available until next week.
The governor updated the death count from the storm to three—one was killed in a traffic accident in Somerset County and two were killed by falling trees in Susquehanna and Berks counties.
Two mega-shelters will open this afternoon to house evacuees from New Jersey, along with Pennsylvanians who need a place to stay, he said.
At New Jersey’s request, Pennsylvania also is sending 35 ambulances and a mass-injury bus to that state, Corbett said.
More than 900 people are in Pennsylvania shelters now, he said. Of the 57 shelters that are open, 48 are run by the Red Cross, he said.
Eight hospitals are operating on generators, according to the governor, and more than 400 roads are closed in the state because of downed trees and power lines.
Corbett said that, in addition to Obama, presidential candidate Mitt Romney also called him to ask about what was going on and to wish his best to the citizens of Pennsylvania.