OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)—Get out now. Ocean City issues a mandatory evacuation order as powerful Hurricane Irene approaches.

Pat Warren has the latest from Governor Martin O’Malley.

O’Malley, in conjunction with the Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan, has declared a state of emergency. He is telling everybody to get out of Ocean City—the sooner, the better.

Early Thursday, the Ocean City hurricane action plan entered phase one, and boaters took precautions.

“With the storm coming up I thought it would be a good time to pull it out and not have to worry about it,” said Sam Davis, boater.

But now it’s a storm so potentially damaging that the state, in conjunction with Ocean City, has declared a mandatory evacuation.

“In conjunction with the mayor of Ocean City, we are ordering a mandatory evacuation of the barrier island of Ocean City,” O’Malley said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “What does that mean? That means that any visitors or residents of Ocean City should be making plans to leave the island as soon as possible and in an orderly way.

“We have already started to evacuate some seasonal workers from Ocean City that did not have transportation, and that evacuation will be proceeding,” he continued. “And it is our goal to make sure that Ocean City is evacuated by 5 p.m. on Friday. So people should not waste time. This is not a time to get out the camera and sit on the beach taking pictures of the waves.”

Phase three of the hurricane action plan takes effect at midnight. At that time all persons other than emergency personnel are ordered to evacuate. Ocean City residents need to seek shelter elsewhere, and visitors should go home. Incoming traffic is limited to emergency vehicles only. And as of midnight the sale of alcohol is banned.

The governor says 100 troopers have been deployed to assist in the evacuation of Ocean City and the lower shore.

O’Malley Declares State Of Emergency Due To Irene. Click here to read more.

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