WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for North Carolina that is expected to be hit by Hurricane Irene over the weekend.
Obama has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local responses to the storm.
In New Jersey, tens of thousands of shore visitors and many residents have begun an orderly exodus.
It could be the biggest evacuation in state history with Atlantic City's 11 casinos bracing for a likely shutdown that would be only their third since opening in 1978.
Officials in Maryland have ordered thousands of residents and visitors to leave Ocean City while Gov. Martin O'Malley warned of the dangers of the "monster" storm.
O'Malley declared a state of emergency Thursday.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says there are probably about 125,000 to 150,000 people in town.
And in Washington, the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall has been postponed indefinitely.