RICHMOND, Va. (WRC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Ophelia, formerly known as “Potential Tropical Cyclone 16.”

The State of Emergency went into effect just before 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. A spokesperson for Youngkin’s office said the storm was “unusual,” making it difficult to accurately forecast but resources would be prepared.

“As this storm has organized and strengthened, it’s becoming clear based on the latest forecasts that impacts to the commonwealth are likely,” Youngkin said. “We want to ensure that all communities, particularly those with the greatest anticipated impact, have the resources they need to respond and recover from the effects of this storm. Since this storm has the potential to have a range of impacts across numerous localities in the commonwealth, I encourage all Virginians and visitors to keep up with the latest forecast for their area from a trusted source, make a plan, and have their emergency kits ready.”

By declaring the State of Emergency, Youngkin has allowed Virginia to mobilize resources and equipment in anticipation of response and recovery efforts. The Virginia Emergency Support Team will also be activated for the storm.

According to Attorney General Miyares, Youngkin’s declaration has also triggered the state’s anti-price gouging statutes, preventing consumers from being forced to overpay during an emergency event.

“Virginia’s anti-price gouging statutes exist to protect Virginians during a time of crisis from being taken advantage of by bad actors,” Miyares said. “Any violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act or exploitation of Virginians’ wallets will be thoroughly prosecuted by my office based on the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.”

8News meteorologists are anticipating rainfall, flooding, wind damage and potentially tornadoes as part of the storm beginning this afternoon and lasting until Sunday, Sept. 24.