TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency in New Jersey ahead of weekend storms and a potential East Coast impact from Hurricane Joaquin.

The declaration will allow state and county government to manage the storm, including the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin 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.

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.

The governor says that he and his administration are better prepared to deal with this weekend's storm because of Superstorm Sandy. He says that former cabinet members who served during Sandy are subject to be recalled to help with this weekend's storm.

He canceled a campaign stop in New Hampshire that was scheduled for Friday.