By: AP
By: AP

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's governor has declared a
state of emergency as evacuation of the coast ahead of Hurricane
Earl continues.

Gov. Beverly Perdue issued the declaration during a Wednesday
afternoon briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center near
the state capital.

Earl's strongest winds are expected to reach the coast Thursday
night into Friday morning.

Perdue warned residents along the Outer Banks to leave those areas immediately.

Already, hundreds of cars were backed up in traffic on N.C.
Highway 12, the sole link between the fragile barrier islands and
the mainland.

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