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O’Malley declares state of emergency due to Irene

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley has declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

The governor made the declaration on Thursday, shortly before he scheduled a news conference to provide an update on the storm. In his disaster declaration, O’Malley notes that while Irene’s path is uncertain, Maryland must prepare for potential destruction and minimize the threat to public safety.

O’Malley is scheduled to hold a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown.

Earlier in the day, Ocean City activated phase one of its hurricane action plan in preparation for Irene. The city’s emergency management officials have asked anyone who had planned to travel to the resort town to postpone their visit until the storm passes.