6 p.m. UPDATE: Live Updates of Irene in Toms River Starting Saturday Night - Toms River, http://patch.com/A-l3Cn
5:30 p.m. UPDATE:
Toms River Office of Emergency Management said the barrier island is still under a mandatory evacuation. While low-lying areas are strongly encouraged to evacuate, it is voluntary as well as elsewhere in the township.
Three shelters are now open, with Toms River High School East accepting evacuees. Toms River High School North is full, and Intermediate North, which opened at 11 a.m. today, is also now full, said shelter coordinators at Intermediate North.
This story is updated at 10:42 a.m.
Sections of town including east of Fischer Boulevard, Green Island, and Anchorage should all evacuate for Hurricane Irene. All of Toms River is in a voluntary evacuation, while and flood-prone mainland sections of Toms River is mandatory, officials confirmed.
Previously, the barrier island was mandatory, but now sections east of Fischer Boulevard, as well as Green Island and Anchorage in Silverton and all flood-prone areas are strongly urged for evacuation.
Otherwise, all other parts of the entire township are under a voluntary evacuation, officials said.
Residents there are urged to evacuate and seek shelter, taking with them emergency provisions as Hurricane Irene’s outer bands begin to rain upon the area.
Toms River Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Daley urged residents to seek shelter out of town with friends or relatives or in hotels.
He said August is already reporting record flooding at 12 inches of rainfall. Approximately 10 inches of rain could fall from Hurricane Irene, increasing the potential for widespread flooding in the township's flood-prone areas.
Shelter is available in Toms River. Two Red Cross shelters are open: Toms River North and Intermediate North, on Route 571 and Old Freehold Road.
In addition, the Tunney Route 37 east bound bridge to Seaside will close at noon today.
Southbound traffic on the Garden State Parkway is closed starting at mile 98. The Route 72 and 70 circle is closed to traffic heading east on Route 72.
Coastal evacuation routes include Route 9, Route 37 west, and Route 70 west.