ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The streets of Atlantic City are mainly deserted as heavy rain and strong winds associated with Hurricane Sandy start sweeping southern New Jersey.
Large, frothy waves continue pounding the coast as the storm, which strengthened slightly, moves toward a predicted direct hit on New Jersey.
Officials issued a mandatory evacuation for residents along the state's barrier islands.
Atlantic City Emergency Management director Tom Foley says officials are sweeping the city's low-lying areas for people who are still in their homes.
More than 2,300 homes and businesses are without electricity, mainly in Monmouth and Cumberland counties.
Mass transit is not running.
President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for New Jersey. That allows the state to request federal funding and other assistance for action taken in advance of the storm.