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Hogan lifts emergency declaration in some counties as Joaquin's track shifts to sea

Hurricane Joaquin is no longer forecast to affect U.S. coastline.
Hurricane Joaquin is no longer forecast to affect U.S. coastline. (National Hurricane Center)

Less than a day after declaring a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, Gov. Larry Hogan canceled the order for parts of the state as forecasts suggest the storm won't affect the East Coast after all.

But heavy rain and flooding are still expected in the southern half of the state Friday through Saturday morning.

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"With the storm moving away from our coasts, we are directing state resources to the counties and areas with the highest potential to need assistance," Hogan said in a statement. "However, the majority of the state still remains under a state of emergency and rain and wind gusts could cause power outages and flooding in low-lying areas."

The latest forecasts suggest Joaquin will pass several hundred miles from the coastline, closer to Bermuda, by Monday. The storm remained a dangerous Category 4 cyclone with 130 mph winds hovering over the Bahamas, according to a 2 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

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The emergency declaration remains in place for Baltimore City, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, and counties on the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland.

A flash flood watch is in effect in those areas through Saturday morning, with 1-3 inches of rain forecast and higher amounts possible in some areas.

"We continue to encourage Marylanders to use common sense and look after family members and neighbors who might need help during this time," Hogan said.

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