- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BRISTOL, Va. | Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plans to declare an emergency in Virginia, a preliminary step needed to muster emergency personnel should Hurricane Earl hit the state.

Mr. McDonnell said he will make the announcement Wednesday morning to give the state police, the Virginia National Guard and other first responders time to ramp up if needed.

The governor said that the latest National Weather Service tracks puts the eye of the powerful storm about 200 miles east of Virginia Beach.

Even if Virginia dodges the brunt, tropical storm winds and minor coastal and Chesapeake Bay flooding are still likely.

Forecasters say that should Earl lurch westward, it could crash ashore in the Carolinas and Virginia, then rage its way north up the East Coast.


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