Over the next several days, Hurricane Irene is expected to slam the eastern seaboard, with a direct hit to North Carolina followed by a northwardly trajectory. Many people have already been evacuated from areas expecting a direct hit from the storm; Virginia, Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas are preparing for strong winds, possible power outages and a deluge of rain.
According to The Washington Post, Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell has declared a state of emergency, telling residents of low-lying areas in the eastern portion of the state to be prepared to evacuate.
“I encourage all Virginians to gather items they may need this weekend in case of power outages and disruptions in public services and to make sure their family members and friends are also prepared for this storm,” said the Governor.
The Navy has ordered 64 ships based in southeastern Virginia to head to safer waters out in the Atlantic to avoid the heaviest parts of the storm.
McDonnell is among four governors — New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Maryland’s Martin O’Malley declared emergencies for their states, while North Carolina’s Bev Perdue has declared a state of emergency in counties east of Interstate 95– who have opted to declare emergency to free up funds and resources for the weather event, according to CNN.