LONG BEACH ISLAND - Residents and visitors are evacuating Long Beach Island ahead of Hurricane Irene.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued for the barrier island beginning at 8 a.m.
The eastbound lanes into Long Beach Island will close to traffic at 6 p.m. After that point, all lanes on Route 72 will funnel traffic west for 28 miles to Route 70.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a state of emergency declaration yesterday ahead of the powerful hurricane.