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Maryland Prepares For Hurricane Irene

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Emergency coordinators will be manning the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown all weekend.
Matt Bush
Emergency coordinators will be manning the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown all weekend.

Officials have already evacuated Ocean City, Md., and now state officials are also encouraging those in other low-lying coastal areas to seek higher ground.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) says the lower Eastern Shore will likely see the heaviest flooding following the storm. But he adds residents across the state will also feel Irene's fury.

"Citizens should anticipate long periods of electrical outages, once these gale force winds start lashing across our state," O'Malley says.

The timing of the storm could lead to further troubles. Many areas of the state are still locating damage from Tuesday's earthquake as they are prepare for another natural disaster.

"It wouldn't surprise me some of the damage not yet apparent from the earthquake becomes more apparent once we're lashed for a good long time by 110 mile per hour winds," says O'Malley.

Around 100 state troopers have been sent to Ocean City to help with the evacuation.

Bay Bridge Closing

Meanwhile, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley says the storm will likely force the closure of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

"We estimate that the Bay Bridge will close in the evening hours on Saturday," he says.

O'Malley warns those needing to cross it not to wait until the last minute, or they could end up stranded.

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