PHILADELPHIA - Fears of rising flood waters from Hurricane Sandy are forcing hundreds of Pennsylvanians from their homes hours before the megastorm even strikes land.
Portions of the communities of Darby and Bensalem are under mandatory evacuation orders Monday while Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter issued an urgent plea for residents of low-lying areas to seek higher ground.
Three hundred people are at Red Cross shelters in the Philadelphia area as of midday, while Darby had at least 150 staying at a community center.
Forecasters predict winds up to 75 mph and as much as 10 inches of rain to hit parts of Pennsylvania as Sandy slams the mid-Atlantic.
The Pennsylvania National Guard expects to have some 1,600 personnel activated for missions ranging from search and rescue to surveying damage.