Virginia, Maryland declare states of emergency to prep for Sandy

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Transportation,Liz Essley

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley both declared states of emergency Friday to prepare for Hurricane Sandy's arrival along the East Coast this weekend.

"There is some uncertainty with the storm's final track, but all forecasts call for significant impacts to Virginia," McDonnell said in a statement. "In addition, current models predict a slower storm and therefore a longer duration event than usual."

Officials said current forecasts show more than 48 hours of tropical storm force winds in eastern Virginia, along with several inches of rain and coastal flooding -- which means a "strong possibility of extensive power outages."

Meanwhile, forecasters are predicting possible snow for western Virginia -- creating a weather situation experts are calling "FrankenStorm."

"Now is the time for all Virginians to prepare for those possible power outages and disruptions to public services," McDonnell said.

McDonnell encouraged Virginians to gather batteries, blankets, canned goods and other necessities.

The emergency declaration mobilizes the state's emergency operations and puts state police and water rescue teams on standby. The Virginia National Guard has also been given the go-ahead to line up manpower and resources.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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