New York's governor has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Irene moves up the Northeast Coast, threatening flooding of low-lying coastal cities and towns this weekend.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's declaration Thursday afternoon allows the state to use additional resources to prepare for the storm.
In Albany, the state Office of Emergency Management had increased staffing in its underground bunker.
OEM spokesman William Peat said its staff is monitoring the storm that is expected to reach the New York City and Long Island area on Sunday afternoon or evening.
They are also coordinating in conference calls with 30 state agencies.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he expects to decide by late Friday whether residents in hurricane-prone zones will need to be evacuated.