Hydrologic models by the National Weather Services forecast no major flooding along the Delaware or Lehigh Rivers, or even along the flood-prone spots such as the Jordan Creek in Allentown. However, Bethlehem officials say they expect minor flooding along the Monocacy Creek in Bethlehem.
"Anytime you we get this amount of rain, we expect some flooding along the [Colonial Industrial Quarter] and Conestoga Street," said Public Works Director, Mike Alkhal. "But honestly, we don't expected it to be worse than in past years."
Sandy lost her hurricane status just before making landfall Monday night, but the storm continued its assault with powerful winds and heavy rain.
The storm blew ashore about 8 p.m. five miles southwest of Atlantic City, according to the National Hurricane Center. It did not pinpoint landfall to a specific town due to the system's nebulous shape and size, but it downgraded Hurricane Sandy to a post-tropical cyclone.
President Obama issued emergency declarations for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
The size of the storm was so great that the high wind warning stretched from Philadelphia to the Ohio border.
Gov. Tom Corbett said 33 counties issued emergency declarations and 27 opened emergency operations centers.
"We are there and we are prepared to assist counties wherever they need help," he said,
The Pennsylvania National Guard activated 750 soldiers and expects to have a total of 1,600 placed on active duty to deal with the likely damage. Guard spokesman Staff Sgt. Matthew Jones says 50 guardsmen had already been on duty since Friday and 800 more based in Pittsburgh and Scranton expect to be activated by noon.
The American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley opened shelters at UGI, 2121 City Line Road in Bethlehem on Monday and at the Agricultural Complex at Allentown Fairgrounds at 17th and Chew streets early Tuesday.
South Whitehall Township also is operating an emergency shelter at Troxell School, 2219 N. Cedar Crest Blvd. with a shelter next door for pets. Owners should bring enough for a week, vaccination records and any medications.
In Bucks County, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross opened a shelter in at the Palisades High School. The pet-friendly shelter has cots for at least 100 people.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES, SCHOOLS, TRANSPORTATION AND BUSINESSES
Most of the school districts, businesses and services closed on Monday remained closed Tuesday. The Allentown, Bethlehem Area, Easton Area, Parkland and East Penn school districts quickly canceled classes for Tuesday, with others following suit.
Hospitals remained open, but St. Luke's Health Network closed outpatient clinics and physicians offices. Hospice patients were evacuated to the main hospital in Fountain Hill. Coordinated Health Care on Demand walk-in centers, clinics and outpatient locations closed. At Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, outpatient facilities are closed through Tuesday, and the PMC Immediate Care Centers closed and will tentatively open at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
LANTA suspended bus service through Tuesday except for van service to dialysis centers and major medical purposes.
All flights from Lehigh Valley International Airport have been canceled until at least mid-day Tuesday, said airport Executive Director Charles Everett Jr.
"We just had the police survey the entire terminal area and there were no stranded passengers," Everett said. "We are conscious that some people may get dropped off at the airport, not realizing their flight has been canceled. For those people, we have made arrangements to bus them to a local hotel, or some other place that's relatively close. At this point, all passengers should check the status of their flight with their air carrier, before heading to the airport."
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said U.S. nuclear plants are built to sustain hurricane force winds, but the agency sent additional inspectors to a host of plants up and down the East Coast, including PPL's Susquehanna plant. It's one of more than two dozen in Sandy's path, but PPL spokesman Joe Scopelliti said the company is well-prepared.
"The reactor building has got 12 feet of concrete and steel between where the fuel is and the outside, it is very robust building," he said.
The plant will shut down if its loses external power, but the utility has five diesel generators and a battery backup system ready to power pumps that would cool the reactor during a shutdown.
Most businesses closed Monday afternoon and remained closed Tuesday morning.
The Lehigh Valley Mall, Promenade Shops, South Mall and the Palmer Park Mall are among retail centers that closed.
The state liquor stores and driver's license centers and most banks remain closed Tuesday.
Reporters Riley Yates, John Micek, Scott Kraus, Nicole Radzievich", Sam Kennedy, Matt Assad, Dan Hartzell, Adam Clark, Samantha Marcus and Emily Opilo and the Associated Press contributed to this story.