ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Mandatory evacuations are starting in New Jersey's Cape May County.

Emergency management officials have ordered an estimated 750,000 to 850,000 people out of the county's 16 towns in advance of Hurricane Irene. Nearly all of the New Jersey shore and the entire southern half of the state are under a hurricane warning.

Mandatory evacuations began in Atlantic County's shore communities at 6 a.m. Friday
Buses are carrying people away from Atlantic City.

The city's 11 casinos are expected to close at some point Friday. It would be only the third time in the 33-year history of casino gambling in New Jersey that the gambling halls would be closed.

Tolls have been suspended along the Atlantic City Expressway and on the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River to speed evacuations.

Police say officials in Keansburg have ordered the evacuation of the Monmouth County town to begin at 3 p.m. Friday.