Breaking News Hanna changes direction again

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By The Staff

Tropical Storm Hanna once again poses a minor threat to Lancaster County.Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Morris Russell said he's not predicting a catastrophic storm for the county, but urges residents to pay attention this afternoon and Saturday on Hanna's ever-changing track.Russell said most residents probably went to bed Thursday night with little concern about Hanna. But the storm's track changed again.“Since last night, the storm has jogged to the west,” Russell said.That means Lancaster County could experience 50 mph wind gusts either late Friday or early Saturday, with sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph. With those winds could come scattered power outages, Russell said. Residents should try to have food, water and cash on hand in case the power does go out.Power outages may be reported to Duke Energy at 1-800-POWERON or to Lynches River Electric Cooperative at 1-866-675-LREC.Residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines.The county could receive 2 to 4 inches of rain. Light rain bands from the storm were moving into the county about 1:30 p.m. Friday.As of 11 a.m. EDT Friday, Hanna had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph and was centered about 375 miles south of Wilmington. The storm was moving toward the northwest near 20 mph.A hurricane watch was in effect for Edisto Beach to the Outer Banks of North Carolina near the Virginia border.Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to make landfall in South Carolina around 2 a.m. Saturday before moving quickly up the Atlantic seaboard and pushing into New England by early Sunday.Hanna was expected to dump several inches of rain on in North and South Carolina, as well as central Virginia, Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania.Some areas could see up to 10 inches of rain, with the potential for flash flooding in the northern mid-Atlantic states and southern New England.Russell said as of Friday afternoon, Lancaster County would likely not be affected by Hurricane Ike, which was headed toward the southern tip of Florida. But some forecast models showed the still powerful Category 3 storm taking a turn to the north, and residents need to pay attention to forecasts for the next several days.Checkwww.thelancasternews.comfor more weather updates. The Web site has a link to The Weather Channel atwww.weather.com.

Contact senior reporterJenny Hartley at 283-1151