That evacuation will begin at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Southeast Wilmington is located in a flood plain and will experience higher than normal water levels, the mayor said.
Some 3,000 people live in the southeast section.
William Penn High School on Basin Road has been established as a Red Cross Shelter. Middletown High School has also been established as a Red Cross shelter with accommodations for pets.
Gov. Jack Markell earlier declared a state of emergency for Delaware as Hurricane Irene approaches.
He has also said that visitors to coastal areas of the state must leave. He also strongly urged residents of those areas to take shelter inland and said mandatory evacuations of coastal area residents were highly likely.
Shelters will open Friday morning.
Markell said Friday that the evacuation must be completed by 9 a.m. Saturday.
The governor says the storm also could require the state to shut down bridges over the C&D Canal after the evacuation.
He says all state troopers and 1,500 National Guard troops will assist in the evacuation.
Delaware State police say all troopers are on standby awaiting Hurricane Irene.
Officers are helping with mandatory evacuations and providing patrols to protect property that has been evacuated. Troopers will also provide security to state shelters.
Troopers will be assisted by the National Guard.
Authorities urge resident to avoid driving during the hurricane.
RELATED: How to prepare for Hurricane Irene