A voluntary evacuation of Long Beach Island is underway followed by a mandatory evacuation begining Friday morning, authorities announced this afternoon.

Long Beach Island Emergency Management Coordinators and local elected officials have decided that a voluntary evacuation will begin immediately today, followed by mandatory evacuation starting at 8 a.m. Friday.

Authorities are advising the public on LBI to stay tuned to tv channel 22, channel 39 and Long Beach Island Information radio station 1650 AM.

Shelters at Southern Regional High School will open at 8 a.m., said Harvey Cedars Police Chief Thomas Preiser.

Residents are asked to secure loose items and check on neighbors before leaving the island.

"We are asking that people limit calls to the police department to only emergency calls," Preiser said.