Easton will impose a curfew tonight, Mayor Sal Panto said.
This unusual move is being prompted by Hurricane Sandy, which was expected to bring high winds to the region Monday afternoon and evening. Those winds are likely to knock down power lines, and the mayor wants people off the street and away from them.
The mayor also declared a state of emergency until Tuesday at midnight.
The curfew will begin at 9 p.m. for anyone not on their way to or from work, the mayor said.
Police officers will patrol the streets after that, Panto said, noting that the curfew is also a precaution against looting.
Panto said city workers had spent the weekend clearing leaves from gutters and taking down "things that could become airborne." Workers will continue to look for problems.
He added that the storm would disrupt Easton's garbage collection. Trash pickup is canceled for Tuesday and will be a day late the rest of the week.
The mayor announced other hurricane-related items in a news release:
- The city is encouraging anyone who needs shelter to head to the Red Cross in Bethlehem, at 2125 City Line Avenue. Easton has a daytime shelter at the Salvation Army on the 1100 block of Northampton Street.
- City Hall's main phone line -- 610-250-6600 -- will be staffed until 11 p.m. Monday. Emergency calls should go to 911. The city website will have updates beginning at noon Monday.
- Flooding is expected along the Bushkill Creek and Lehigh River. Residents along the Bushkill should be prepared for flash floods.
- Easton's trick-or-treat night is still set for Halloween night (Wednesday) from 6 to 8. The city will decide Tuesday whether it should be moved.
As of Monday afternoon, Wilson had no plans to follow Easton’s example with a curfew, according to borough officials.
Council President Lenny Feinberg said it seemed “a bit early” for such a measure.
Borough workers spent the day cleaning storm drains, and there will probably be extra people called in tonight, said Feinberg.
“We’re as ready as we can be,” he said. “Other than that, there’s not much you can do.”
Mayor David Perruso said key borough officials had met Monday morning to make plans for Sandy.
And the mayor has a message for Wilson residents:
"If they need help, we’re here and ready with emergency services,” he said. “We’re pretty much up on it.”