In a press conference at 6 p.m. this evening, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter declared a state of emergency for the City of Philadelphia as Hurricane Irene approaches the area.
"This could be the worst storm event to hit the Philadelphia area in 50 years," Nutter said.
It is the first state of emergency issued in Philadelphia since 1986, when Mayor W. Wilson Goode declared it in racially troubled southwest Philadelphia.
Nutter also added that local residents should expect lengthy power outages after the storm.
"Due to the severity of this storm," Nutter said, "people should expect power outages of a week, 10 days or even two weeks."
Nutter said he signed the declaration at 5:30 p.m, following similar declarations in New York City, Baltimore and Washington.
Stay tuned to NBC10 and nbcphiladelphia.com for more details as they become available.