Obama Declares Earl an Emergency in North Carolina

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Photo: Douglas H. Wheelock/NASA via Getty Image

The president said Wednesday night that an emergency situation exists in North Carolina, as he ordered federal agencies to help state and local officials handle any hurricane-related problems. The move also allows the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate all disaster-relief efforts. While current forecasts indicate the brunt of the storm — now registering winds up to 140 miles per hour — would miss New York, experts unnervingly said that "even a slight shift in the storm's predicted offshore track could put millions of people in the most densely populated part of the country in harm's way." [AP, Fox]