Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell has issued a state of emergency for the commonwealth of Virginia.
"The current forecast has Hurricane Earl passing east of Virginia later this week," said McDonnell. "However, a change in the storm's path could bring hazardous weather conditions to eastern Virginia. This declaration is a precautionary move which will allow state agencies to be ready just in case resources are needed."
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions of winds greater than 73 mph are possible in the next 48 hours as officials keep a close eye on Earl, which has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm but is headed towards the East Coast.
The Washington, DC, metro area is not expected to be drastically affected.
In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley advised travelers not to drive to or from Ocean City during the height of stormy weather. O'Malley said Wednesday during a Board of Public Works meeting that Earl is tracking about 150 miles to 200 miles off Maryland's coast. He said officials expect there will be a fair amount of beach damage and erosion, but that it's unlikely Ocean City will need to be evacuated.
(Sources: Reston Patch/Baltimore Sun)