This NOAA satellite image taken October 24 at 01:45 AM EDT shows Tropical Storm Sandy south of Jamaica moving north at 10 mph. Max winds are 65 mph with strengthening to a hurricane expected in the next 12 to 18 hours. Many tropical storm/hurricane watches and warnings cover Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, and parts of the Bahamas (AP/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)
(WUSA) -- Maryland is under a state of emergency and coastal communities in Delaware are preparing for the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.
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."
Rehoboth Beach is expecting 30,000 people to attend its annual Halloween bash, the Sea Witch Festival, but the town manager says officials are not planning to cancel activities at this time.
Rehoboth Beach emergency preparedness officials are planning to have a meeting on Saturday with all agencies and a call with the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center. They have removed benches, trash cans, lifeguard stands and have cleaned up storm sewers in preparation for the storm.
The city manager says officials' biggest concern is Monday and Tuesday. He says he's never seen anything like a Nor'easter and Hurricane situation in his 30 years in Rehoboth Beach.
Other coastal communities are also watching and making early preparations. For example, in Ocean City, the public works department is beginning to stockpile sandbags. The beach patrol there is securing lifeguard stands and other big times on the sand. The city is also preparing for a potential opening of it s emergency operation Center on Sunday but Jessica Waters, spokesperson for Ocean City, says, "Our message is prepare but don't panic."
Meritt Burke, town manager of Fenwick Island, Del., says officials are preparing for a Nor'easter and for a Hurricane and have already had a call with the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center on Friday. They are expecting lots of rain and flooding, and have removed lifeguard stands, trash cans, etc. They are cleaning storm sewers.
Delmarva Power, which covers all of the coastal towns, is going through its emergency checklist and doing maintenance on their vehicles as well as checking power lines, says spokesperson Matt Likovich. They are keeping in touch with the local emergency preparedness agencies to anticipate needs and make additional plans.
Virginia's governor also declared a state of emergency on Friday morning.