The Latest on NJ storm prep: Christie says state prepared

   TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The latest on severe weather in New Jersey. All times local:
 
   11:35 a.m.
 
   New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that he and his administration are better prepared to deal with this weekend's storm because of Superstorm Sandy.
 
   Christie declared a state of emergency Thursday ahead of the storm that is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding. The declaration will allow state and county government to manage the storm, including the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') affecting the state.
 
   Christie says it's too soon to know whether the hurricane will have a direct impact on the state, but warned of coastal flooding Friday and Saturday.
 
   Flood warnings and watches are in effect up and down the New Jersey coast already and rain is expected to begin again Thursday.
 
   He says that former cabinet members who served during Sandy are subject to be recalled to help with this weekend's storm.
 
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   11:20 a.m.
 
   New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency ahead of a storm expected to bring heavy rain and flooding.
 
   The declaration will allow state and county government to manage the storm, including the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') affecting the state.
 
   Christie says it's too soon to know whether the hurricane will have a direct impact on the state, but warned of coastal flooding Friday and Saturday.
 
   Flood warnings and watches are in effect up and down the New Jersey coast already and rain is expected to begin again Thursday.
 
   Christie says he will consider evacuations if necessary, but that it's too early to know if that will be needed. He told residents to prepare themselves Thursday.
 
   He canceled a campaign stop in New Hampshire that was scheduled for Friday.
 
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   11 a.m.
 
   The latest forecast for Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') shows it pushing farther out to the east and avoiding a direct hit on New Jersey.
 
   The latest National Hurricane Center forecast shows the hurricane coming up the east coast and hitting Long Island as a tropical storm early Tuesday. A forecast earlier Thursday morning showed the storm hitting New Jersey as a tropical storm.
 
   The forecasts will continue to be updated throughout the day and weekend.
 
   New Jersey's state climatologist says David Robinson says even if the storm heads out to sea would mean rough surf and erosion on the shore. The shore is expected to be hammered by continued wind and rains even before Joaquin arrives.
 
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   9:50 a.m.
 
   New Jersey's state climatologist says that at its worst, Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') could hit New Jersey directly next week as a tropical storm bringing heavy rains and perhaps destructive winds with the potential for coastal flooding and beach erosion.
 
   Even if it heads off to sea and doesn't hit the East Coast, climatologist David Robinson said it would mean rough surf and erosion on the shore. The shore is expected to be hammered by continued wind and rains even before Joaquin arrives.
 
   David Robinson called Joaquin a "problem child" because it's hard to predict.
 
   But he says the worst-case would mean a storm not as severe as Superstorm Sandy, which hit the shore in 2012. It was blamed for at least 182 deaths and $65 billion in damage in the U.S.
 
   9:30 a.m.
 
   Gov. Chris Christie will hold a news briefing on Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') as the storm churns off the Bahamas. 
 
   Christie announced the briefing will take place Thursday morning in Trenton. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is expected to join Christie at the Statehouse. 
 
   Flood warnings and watches are in effect up and down the New Jersey coast as rain continues in the state. 
 
   Heavy rains are expected through the weekend as Hurricane Joaquin makes its way toward New Jersey. The most recent forecast says the storm could make landfall as a tropical storm in New Jersey early Tuesday morning. 
 
   The weather service warns people to be prepared for rising water levels and not to drive through flood waters.
 
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   7:20 a.m.
 
   Coast flood warnings and watches are in effect up and down the New Jersey coast as rain continues in the state.
 
   The National Weather Service warned that major coastal flooding is likely Thursday through the weekend.
 
   Major tidal flooding is most likely around high tides.
 
   Heavy rains are expected through the weekend as Hurricane Joaquin is makes its way toward New Jersey. The most recent forecast says the storm could make landfall as a tropical storm in New Jersey early Tuesday morning.
 
   The weather service warns people to be prepared for rising water levels and not to drive through flood waters.
 
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