New York City has issued it's first mandatory evacuation order. People in low-lying areas of all five of the city's boroughs are being advised to leave the area immediately in anticipation of hurricane Irene.

"The low-lying coastal areas that will be endangered most by storm surge include Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens, South Beach, Midland Beach, and other low-lying areas on Staten Island, Battery Park City in Manhattan, and some small sections of the Bronx," quotes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Evacuees will not be required to pay rail or subway fares and motorist do not have to pay tolls.

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority will shut down its system at noon Saturday. JFK International Airport will be closed to incoming international flights starting at noon Saturday.

All coastal communities are expected to be greatly affected by the storm.

Irene is measured at nearly 600 miles wide with winds of 100 mph.

President Barack Obama warned that Irene could be a "hurricane of historic proportions."

Be Safe America!