HARTFORD - Gov. Jodi Rell is asking President Barack Obama to issue a declaration of emergency due to Hurricane Earl.

She says her request was recommended by federal officials to ensure public safety.

Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued as Earl is expected to reach the state this afternoon.

Tracking Hurricane EarlWeather CenterWestport taking steps ahead of EarlSouthwestern Conn. boaters preparing for Earl's impactBarnum Museum boarding up before Earl hits