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Md. officials keep close eye on Tropical Storm Hanna

September 03, 2008

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- With the path of Tropical Storm Hanna still hard to predict, Maryland officials are preparing for the worst.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency chief of staff Edward Hopkins says the agency is operating 24 hours a day, and staffers are holding regular conference calls with the National Weather Service, FEMA, the Maryland National Guard and local emergency managers. Gov. Martin O'Malley is being briefed twice a day on the storm's progress.

If MEMA gets word that Hanna will bring severe weather to Maryland, the agency will call in dozens of state officials to its emergency operations center in Reisterstown. Hopkins says the decision would likely be made about 24 hours before severe weather hits.

Hanna is expected to make landfall along the U.S. coastline by the weekend. Hopkins notes that all corners of Maryland are at risk for severe weather because the storm could turn inland.

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