NJ gov. urges shore visitors to leave before storm

By BETH DeFALCO | August 25, 2011 | 1:10 PM EDT

EWING, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's governor is asking all visitors to its seashore to get out by midday Friday because Hurricane Irene is poised to be a "serious, significant event."

Gov. Chris Christie also is telling people planning to visit the shore this weekend to stay home.

Christie also is declaring a state of emergency. He did not make evacuations mandatory but says he would consider them if people didn't heed the state's warnings.

Irene is not expected to make landfall in New Jersey. But forecasters say it is likely to come close enough to the already rain-soaked state to cause flooding all across New Jersey. Winds also could take down power lines.