Raleigh, NC -- Gov. Bev Perdue has declared a State of Emergency for eastern North Carolina counties.

The State of Emergency will go into effect on Saturday for 38 counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington and Wayne.

"This is a large storm with a lot of energy and its effects are likely to be felt along our coast and throughout eastern counties," Perdue said in a news release. "People should not be fooled by the category 1 status. Folks need to take this storm seriously and be ready."

The decision was also influenced by the National Hurricane Center's Friday morning Tropical Storm Watch for the NC coast, specifically from Nags Head to the South Carolina border.

Declaring a State of Emergency allows local officials to better use state resources needed to respond to emergency situations.

"This is not your typical hurricane that moves through the state in 12 to 24 hours," cautioned Doug Hoell, state emergency management director. "Folks in eastern North Carolina will likely feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy beginning [Friday night] and continuing through Tuesday."

Gov. Perdue asks NC residents to be prepared in case Hurricane Sandy hits the state.

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