PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hurricane Dorian won’t be reaching the states for a few more days, but Pittsburghers are already working in advance to help those down south.
The winds and rains of Dorian may be churning the Atlantic, but the answer to where it’s going may be found in the blue skies and puffy clouds drifting over Pittsburgh.
National Weather Service Meteorologist John Darnley, who heads up the Observations Program, says there is a strong cold front approaching from the Northwest.
Darnley is now sending weather balloons up from the Pittsburgh office in Moon Township every six hours.
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The data, coming back every two seconds as the balloon climbs to 100,000 feet, will help the National Hurricane Center determine the front’s impact on Hurricane Dorian.
Darnley says, “I think the front is actually going to help to steer this along the coast of Florida and then off the coast of Carolina.”
Where the storm is going is critical to first responders who are staging for the post-storm needs.
A crew from Medic One in Murrysville and another from Fayette EMS left today to head for a staging area near the storm’s path. First Energy is sending about 250 linemen to help if power lines go down. About a dozen of those workers left from Pittsburgh today.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency center for power restoration is in the Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh. From here, efforts to get the power back on after a disaster anywhere in the country are coordinated.
Dave Bishop with the Corp says, “It’s the home of Task Force Temporary Emergency Power.”
Bishop says the mission is, “to go out and install generators after a disaster.”
The Corp is staging 300 generators, along with all the necessary people and supplies in Albany, Ga.
Once Dorian moves through, the Corps will move in to restore critical power.
“Things like hospitals, police stations, water and sewage plants, things that are critical to preserving life,” Bishop says.
Staging is what’s going on right now at Brother’s Brother on Pittsburgh north side.
Experience tells Brother’s Brother what will be needed, but the mission now is to be ready.
“We wait until they tell us what their needs are, because the worst thing you can do in a disaster is to send a bunch of stuff that they don’t want or need,” Assistant V.P. for Disaster Response Sarah Boal says.
“We try to keep a baseline of supplies here in Pittsburgh at all times, so we work with partners who donate items we can keep ready to go at a moment’s notice.”