Miami (CNN) — Three governors declared states of emergency Thursday as Hurricane Irene threatened to wreak havoc along the United States’ Eastern Seaboard.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared emergencies for their states, while North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency in counties east of Interstate 95. The emergency declarations allow states to free funds and prepare resources that may be needed.
If Irene continues along its current track, “from a flooding perspective, this could be a hundred-year event,” Christie said. He encouraged voluntary evacuations to begin immediately. “Anybody who is on a barrier island should go,” he said, adding that on Friday people along the beaches should start thinking about moving to higher ground.