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Annapolis mayor declares state of emergency

ANNAPOLIS — Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen is declaring a state of emergency ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

Cohen declared a state of emergency Friday and is urging the evacuation of low-lying areas by Saturday afternoon.

Annapolis police and fire officials will be walking door to door contacting residents, and the Office of Emergency Management will be calling anyone in or near a potential flood zone. All four city garages will allow residents who are leaving to park for free.

The hurricane call center has been activated to help anyone who needs non-emergency assistance related to the hurricane.

The Annapolis High School will open as a pet-friendly shelter at 4 p.m. Saturday.