WASHINGTON (AP) -- A steady rain ahead of Hurricane Irene's arrival has led to road closures and downed power lines in the District of Columbia, but officials aren't reporting any major or unexpected problems.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray declared a state of emergency on Friday, enabling the district to tap federal funds for damage costs. Officials also are bracing for days of widespread power outages, though Metro says it expects to continue operating unless conditions become worse than expected.
The district says it'll open five shelters for residents displaced from their homes if necessary. Officials also estimate that they've distributed some 6,000 sandbags.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says the hurricane is expected to arrive in the state earlier than expected, with the eye passing over Ocean City sometime around midnight.