Lycoming County and the rest of central Pennsylvania may not be affected by Hurricane Sandy as much as the eastern part of the state or coastal states, but people here should still be ready for a few days of high winds and heavy rains.
The storm is still on track to move northwest into mid-Atlantic states late today through Tuesday evening bringing the potential for weather-related damage, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service in State College.
"The good news is river and stream levels, unlike last September, are low," said David Martin, a forecaster with the weather service.
A flood and high wind watch has been issued for most of central Pennsylvania. The flood watch is effective from late tonight through Tuesday evening, while the high wind watch is effective Monday morning through Tuesday evening, according to the weather service.
Martin said rainfall is expected to be light-to-moderate with occasional heavy rain. He said bands of rain would bring varying amounts of rain during the period.
"It's not going to rain all of the time," Martin said, which could give sump pumps an occasional break.
For most of the area, three to five inches of rain is expected through Tuesday night, although higher amounts could fall in localized areas.
High winds will develop Monday and last into Tuesday with steady winds around 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 60+ mph.
The combination of rain and winds has the potential to cause stream and creek flooding with downed power lines.
"Be prepared, use common sense," Martin said.
He added that drivers should use caution on secondary roads and be aware of fast-rising water levels that may hide downed power lines.
"Stay out of areas that flood easily," he said.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency also urged people to be ready by having items available such as flashlights with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, food and water, non-electric can opener and medicines.
The agency also recommends securing outdoor objects and bringing loose items inside to prevent damage from flying objects.
In addition to drinking water, a supply of water for hygiene and toilet flushing is recommended by filling large containers or bathtubs with water.
Drivers should not attempt to cross flowing streams and should be especially cautious at night when it's more difficult to recognize flood dangers, according to PEMA.
As news coverage has centered on the hurricane, business has been very brisk at both Lowe's and Walmart in Montoursville.
"We're wiped out of flashlights and batteries. We've have also sold out of water," a manager at Walmart told the Sun-Gazette on Saturday night.
"There is has also been a sharp spike of milk, eggs and bread. People are definitely stocking up," he added.
It was much the same story at Lowe's next door.
"There definitely has been an increase in business. Everyone is trying to get prepared," one manager said.
"We have sold out of generators and batteries. I still have flashlights, but not many," he added. Water by the case has also be going out the door the last two days, he said.
A store manager at Target at Lycoming Crossing in Muncy Township noted that the biggest sale items there since Friday have also been batteries, flashlights and water.
"Customers are buying essentials for the storm, but we have been restocking those items," he said.