Va. declares state of emergency for Sandy

  • Matt Francis of Virginia Beach holds on to his hat as the wind-driven sand and rain from Hurricane Sandy blow across the beaches of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot)Matt Francis of Virginia Beach holds on to his hat as the wind-driven sand and rain from Hurricane Sandy blow across the beaches of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot)
  • Mike Strobel fills sandbags for his business, Mike's Carpet Connection, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Fenwick Island, Del., as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Mid-Atlantic states. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Mike Strobel fills sandbags for his business, Mike's Carpet Connection, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Fenwick Island, Del., as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Mid-Atlantic states. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • A car goes through high water in Ocean City, Md., on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Mid-Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)A car goes through high water in Ocean City, Md., on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Mid-Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Ocean water rolls over Route 12 at the north end of Buxton, N.C., at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as waves from Hurricane Sandy battered Hatteras Island. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)Ocean water rolls over Route 12 at the north end of Buxton, N.C., at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as waves from Hurricane Sandy battered Hatteras Island. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)
  • High winds blow sea foam into the air as a pedestrian crosses Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)High winds blow sea foam into the air as a pedestrian crosses Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Large waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, as the storm moves up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Large waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, as the storm moves up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Store workers Fletcher Birch, right, and Jay Kleman finish boarding up the windows on a surf store in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)Store workers Fletcher Birch, right, and Jay Kleman finish boarding up the windows on a surf store in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
  • A worker boards up the windows of the store as Hurricane Sandy approaches in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)A worker boards up the windows of the store as Hurricane Sandy approaches in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
  • Palms along highway 24 at the Nancy Lee Fishing Center bend in the tropical storm-force winds being generated by Hurricane Sandy, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Atlantic Beach, N.C. (AP Photo/The Jacksonville Daily News, Chuck Beckley)Palms along highway 24 at the Nancy Lee Fishing Center bend in the tropical storm-force winds being generated by Hurricane Sandy, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Atlantic Beach, N.C. (AP Photo/The Jacksonville Daily News, Chuck Beckley)
  • Red flags fly from a lifeguard station as Hurricane Sandy passes offshore to the east, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, in Miami Beach, Fla. Hurricane Sandy left at least 21 people dead as it moved through the Caribbean, following a path that could see it blend with a winter storm and reach the U.S. East Coast as a super-storm next week. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)Red flags fly from a lifeguard station as Hurricane Sandy passes offshore to the east, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, in Miami Beach, Fla. Hurricane Sandy left at least 21 people dead as it moved through the Caribbean, following a path that could see it blend with a winter storm and reach the U.S. East Coast as a super-storm next week. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
  • A resident holds a metal sheet on the roof of a damaged house in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012, after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy . The hurricane was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)A resident holds a metal sheet on the roof of a damaged house in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012, after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy . The hurricane was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)
  • A woman stands at the entrance of her house in front of a fallen palm tree after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba on Thursday as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)A woman stands at the entrance of her house in front of a fallen palm tree after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba on Thursday as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • A fallen placard lies on the ground after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)A fallen placard lies on the ground after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • Soldiers an rescue workers patrol after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)Soldiers an rescue workers patrol after the passing of Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • Resident Antonio Garces tries to recover his belongings from his house, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Aguacate, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)Resident Antonio Garces tries to recover his belongings from his house, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Aguacate, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • Fallen palm trees lie on a road in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)Fallen palm trees lie on a road in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012, after Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • Resident Antonio Garces tries to recover his belongings from his house, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Aguacate, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)Resident Antonio Garces tries to recover his belongings from his house, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Aguacate, Cuba, on Oct. 25, 2012. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • A Fort Lauderdale Police car stops at a fallen palm tree trunk blocking a road in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 25, 2012. (Associated Press)A Fort Lauderdale Police car stops at a fallen palm tree trunk blocking a road in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 25, 2012. (Associated Press)
  • A surfer (rear left) takes advantage of waves produced by Hurricane Sandy's outer bands at Haulover Beach in Miami as the Bal Harbour police patrol the area on Oct. 25, 2012. (Associated Press/El Nuevo Herald)A surfer (rear left) takes advantage of waves produced by Hurricane Sandy's outer bands at Haulover Beach in Miami as the Bal Harbour police patrol the area on Oct. 25, 2012. (Associated Press/El Nuevo Herald)
  • A man removes mud from his tap tap with flood water caused by heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 25, 2012 in La Plaine, Haiti, as residents of the Port-au-Prince neighbor tried to recover from the aftermath of the storm. (Associated Press/The Miami Herald)A man removes mud from his tap tap with flood water caused by heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 25, 2012 in La Plaine, Haiti, as residents of the Port-au-Prince neighbor tried to recover from the aftermath of the storm. (Associated Press/The Miami Herald)
  • A resident carries a metal sheet, part of a damaged house after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25,  2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)A resident carries a metal sheet, part of a damaged house after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)
  • A man watches a river affected by heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25,  2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)A man watches a river affected by heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)
  • A resident drains mud from a flooded house after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)A resident drains mud from a flooded house after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 25, 2012. Sandy was blamed for the death of an elderly man in Jamaica who was crushed by a boulder. Another man and two women died while trying to cross storm-swollen rivers in southwestern Haiti. (Associated Press)
  • A driver maneuvers his classic American car along a wet road in Havana on Oct. 25, 2012, as a wave crashes against the car. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)A driver maneuvers his classic American car along a wet road in Havana on Oct. 25, 2012, as a wave crashes against the car. Hurricane Sandy blasted across eastern Cuba as a potent Category 2 storm and headed for the Bahamas after causing at least two deaths in the Caribbean. (Associated Press)
  • Residents stand Oct. 25, 2012, on a bridge that was previously destroyed in 2008 by Tropical Storm Gustav, while watching Hope River swell in the village of Kintyre, near Kingston, Jamaica, after the passing of Hurricane Sandy. (Associated Press)Residents stand Oct. 25, 2012, on a bridge that was previously destroyed in 2008 by Tropical Storm Gustav, while watching Hope River swell in the village of Kintyre, near Kingston, Jamaica, after the passing of Hurricane Sandy. (Associated Press)
  • In this image taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES East satellite on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy is seen on the East Coast of the United States. (AP Photo/NOAA)In this image taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES East satellite on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy is seen on the East Coast of the United States. (AP Photo/NOAA)
  • Piles of sand were trucked onto the beach at 2nd Avenue in North Wildwood, N.J., Friday Oct. 26, 2012 as the storm approaches. A year after being walloped by Hurricane Irene, residents rushed to put away boats, harvest crops and sandbag boardwalks Friday as the Eastern Seaboard braced for a rare megastorm that experts said would cause much greater havoc (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Dale Gerhard)Piles of sand were trucked onto the beach at 2nd Avenue in North Wildwood, N.J., Friday Oct. 26, 2012 as the storm approaches. A year after being walloped by Hurricane Irene, residents rushed to put away boats, harvest crops and sandbag boardwalks Friday as the Eastern Seaboard braced for a rare megastorm that experts said would cause much greater havoc (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Dale Gerhard)
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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Friday in preparation for an anticipated super-storm that officials said will begin to be felt in much of the state on Saturday.

While there’s some uncertainty of the storm’s track, the governor’s office said all forecasts call for significant impacts to Virginia over the weekend and early next week. Emergency officials said it wouldn’t take a direct hit for the state to see significant effects, calling it a “longhaul event” that could knock out power up until Election Day.

Hurricane Sandy, which weakened to a category 1 hurricane Thursday night in the Caribbean, is expected to blend with a winter storm to hit the East Coast. The storm already has killed more than two dozen people.

Laura Southard, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said the eastern half of the state should begin seeing rain by Saturday afternoon, with tropical storm force gusts and sustained winds in some areas up to 70 mph. Widespread power outages, downed trees and flooding are expected to follow as the storm passes Tuesday or Wednesday.

“The deal with this storm is it doesn’t matter if we get a direct hit or not. It is so big and widespread and of such a nature that we could expect impacts in Virginia similar to Irene,” she said.

Hurricane Irene killed five people, knocked out power to 1.1 million — the second-largest power outage in state history — and did $182 million in damage in August 2011.

Southard said residents should be prepared for extended power outages and should stock up on nonperishable food, batteries, gas and other supplies.

“People should be getting their supplies together and be done with their preparations by Saturday afternoon or so and be ready to hunker down,” she said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said Friday that crews stand ready across the state to respond to any unsafe traveling conditions and damage resulting from the storm. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also encouraged farmers to prepare for power outages, as well as structural or crop damage. And the Coast Guard also urged mariners to heed warnings and take necessary precautions.

Dominion Virginia Power said Friday it is mobilizing thousands of crews, including some from other states, to deal with expected power outages.

“What makes this particular event very concerning are the public safety threats to our customers and to our employees who will be out in the elements,” Dominion spokesman David Botkins said. “We’re looking at snow in parts of the state, extreme rain in other parts of the state, high winds, and so it’s got all of the various ingredients that make traveling very, very difficult. That’s why it’s so important that people prepare now.”

Storms this late in the hurricane season are not unheard of. Virginia was hit by a big storm around the time three years ago, and the remnants of a tropical storm caused historic flooding in some western parts of the state on Election Day in 1985.

Hurricane season goes through the end of November,” she said. “We say it every year and here’s a good reason people should pay attention to it.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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