Gov. Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency for Virginia Wednesday night in response to the effects of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida and a coastal Nor'easter.

"With the National Weather Service indicating that eastern Virginia could experience flooding and storm surge comparable to the affects of a Category 1 hurricane, it's critical that Virginians make the necessary preparations," Kaine said. "While we will continue to monitor conditions, the commonwealth is preparing for a period of coastal flooding through at least Friday evening."

Depending on the amount of rain, there is a potential for river flooding in areas of the commonwealth, specifically the southeast and coastal areas.

Brian Eckert, director of media relations at the University of Richmond, sent a campus-wide e-mail Thursday.

Thursday's forecast calls for more heavy rain accompanied by sustained winds of 25 miles an hour, gusting to 40 miles an hour, Eckert wrote in the e-mail.

Local governments may direct mandatory evacuations of citizens in low-lying areas if necessary.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating with local officials and state agencies as well as the National Weather Service. The Virginia State Police, Virginia National Guard, and the departments of Game and Inland Fisheries, Social Services and Transportation are prepared to assist local governments.

There is a flood watch in most of southeast Virginia, including Richmond, where heavy rain is expected through Friday morning.

Kaine advised citizens to listen to local radio and TV stations for updated weather information and instructions from emergency officials.

He also recommended citizens to make plans now for travel and destination in case their areas are flooded.

Residents of coastal Virginia can determine if their homes are located in a storm surge area by visiting the department of emergency management Web site.

Staff writer Jimmy Young contributed reporting.

Contact staff writer Nick Mider at