(WUSA 9) -- Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has declared a State of Emergency before Hurricane Sandy. The governor is urging all Maryland residents to prepare for extreme weather, including making emergency plans and stocking up on storm supplies.
According to the governor's office, "The declaration gives the state flexibility to activate the Maryland National Guard and provide assistance to local emergency managers."
Track: Hurricane Sandy
Virginia's governor also declared a state of emergency on Friday morning.
The exact track of Hurricane Sandy is unknown at this time but it is expected to impact Virginia this weekend and early next week when it transitions to an "extratropical storm." According to the office, weather "models predict a slower storm and therefore a longer duration event than usual." Strong winds, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding could come with the storm.
Governor McDonnell said in a statement:
"We are issuing this state of emergency today as a precautionary measure in order to ensure that we are ready for any potential effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Commonwealth. Weather forecasters are predicting significant weather impacts across much of Virginia, and a long duration event. Due to the track of this storm, and the fact that it will be a hurricane transitioning into a more nor'easter-like system, we could see severe weather lasting for 48 hours or more in the state. In that scenario, saturated soil coupled with high winds could lead to major tree damage and extensive power outages. Now is the time for all Virginians to prepare for those possible power outages and disruptions to public services. In addition, forecasters predict falling temperatures during and behind this system, and in areas that suffer power outages this will lead to new challenges in the days after the storm departs. Virginians should make sure their family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for this extended weather event. I encourage all Virginians to gather batteries, blankets, water, canned goods, and other necessities prior to the anticipated onset of storm conditions late Saturday and early Sunday."