By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The expected impact of Hurricane Irene has prompted Mayor Nutter to declare a state of emergency in Philadelphia.

Moments after opening the city’s emergency operations center, Mayor Nutter signaled the severity of the situation.

“At approximately 5:30 this evening, I signed a state of emergency declaration for the city of Philadelphia.”

It’s the first such declaration in Philadelphia since 1986 and Nutter says it gives police more discretionary powers, such as the ability to shutter businesses.

“It literally empowers us to be able to tell them that they need to close at a certain time in order to protect the public safety.”

Three shelters in three flood prone regions of the city are now open for the duration of the storm.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio Guide To Hurricane Irene

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