Published: Aug 26, 2011 10:18 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for New York state in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, which has New York City in its sights as it storms up the Eastern Seaboard.
    
The declaration means that the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency can coordinate disaster relief efforts. It also means the state can receive federal aid to supplement state and local emergency and cleanup assistance.
    
The declaration is specifically intended to alleviate the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau and Suffolk.
    
The brunt of the storm is expected to hit the New York City area and Long Island on Sunday.
    
The hurricane threatens up to 65 million people along a path from North Carolina to New England.

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