- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

The latest on expected torrential rains over the coming days, possible brush with Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN’).

4:10 p.m.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the state is preparing to mobilize resources to respond to heavy rains and Hurricane Joaquin.

The governor declared a state of emergency on Thursday. He says “while we’re hopeful for the best, we’re preparing for the worst.”

Hogan says there’s still a great deal of uncertainty about the path of the storm and its potential impact.

Still, the governor is urging state residents to start now in preparation of potential heavy rains and flooding. Residents should make sure they have water, batteries and flashlights.

Hogan says coastal and low-lying areas in Maryland are a concern now. He says the storm is likely to have a greater impact on coastal areas on the Eastern Shore and Ocean City.

3:23 p.m.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency to allow emergency responders to begin to prepare for flooding from heavy rains and damage from a hurricane.

The governor spoke Thursday afternoon from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown.

Drenching storms are moving up the East Coast, a region already swamped by rain from earlier this week. The waters have done damage in the Carolinas and southwest Virginia, and could cause power outages and close roads in the Mid-Atlantic.

The approach of Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN’) could intensify the damage, but rain is forecast across the region regardless of that storm’s path.

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3:03 p.m.

A new levee could be tested if Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN’) hits the nation’s capital.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the levee last year. The removable structure consists of aluminum panels and steel posts, set between two permanent flood walls on each side of 17th Street. It was built to hold back tidal surge flooding as well as freshwater river flooding.

The National Park Service, which operates the structure, says it’s ready to erect the levee if a storm surge appears imminent.

Meanwhile, forecasters say the storm has strengthened into a Category 4 as it roars its way to the U.S. from the Bahamas.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches for the District of Columbia and surrounding areas from Friday morning through late Saturday.

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2:13 p.m.

Heavy rain and flooding expected through the next few days in the mid-Atlantic region, shifting weekend plans and spurring a flurry of preparations.

Local authorities warned residents Thursday to clear drains and remove or secure outdoor furniture before days of heavy rain that are already canceling events around the region.

Maryland’s football game against Michigan is moving from 8 p.m. to noon on Saturday. The University of Delaware canceled Sunday’s Coast Day, which typically draws 10,000 people to the coastal town of Lewes.

The National Weather service has issued flash flood watch for Washington, northern Virginia, southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore from Friday morning through late Saturday. Coastal flood warnings and advisories are in effect during the same period in central and southern Delaware and on the Eastern Shore.

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