Debby has drenched Florida for four straight days and forecasters warn that even though the storm is weakening, the threat of flooding remains.
The statewide emergency in Florida means that the state can waive or suspend certain state laws to respond to the storm. It also means that price-gouging laws take effect.
Despite rain from Tropical Storm Beryl last weekend, it's been years since the Georgia coast faced a full-blown evacuation.
This year, emergency management in Columbia County has more than 400 people ready to help save lives and bring people to safety.
The system is expected to move along the coast of the Carolinas before moving over the Atlantic later Wednesday. That's when Beryl is expected to regain tropical storm strength.
Mostly, the storm is bringing much-needed rain to an area parched with drought.
Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to make landfall Sunday night and the weather system is already wrecking some Memorial Day weekend plans.
The storm is centered about 225 miles (362 kilometers) east of Jacksonville, Fla.
The official start to hurricane season is June 1, but tropical storms often occur before then.
The report says storm names are reused every six years unless retired for causing considerable casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.
They say residents in hurricane zones instead should use hurricane shutters and impact-resistant windows.