Heavy rains in and around the Trenton, N.J., area have forced the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to close its offices for a third straight day, officials say.

The department has asked previously designated “essential personnel” to report to work, and it has asked field personnel to report to their scheduled field work assignments.

But the department asked other personnel to stay home Wednesday and today, and it is asking those personnel to continue to stay home Friday.

The Delaware River, which flows through Trenton, was more than 5 feet over its flood stage Thursday, according to the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed an executive order proclaiming a state of emergency in New Jersey.

One executive order provision requires non-essential Trenton-based state employees to stay away from their offices.

New Jersey’s state of emergency gives the state emergency management director the authority to order evacuations and designate shelters. The executive order also authorizes officials to mobilize units of the New Jersey National Guard to help with flood relief efforts.