ATLANTIC CITY (AP):
The first blow from Hurricane Sandy as it turned toward the East Coast yesterday flooded Atlantic City and other New Jersey shore towns, forcing road closures, stranding residents who did not heed evacuation orders and knocking out power to thousands.
"I have never seen so much water in the inlet," said Bob McDevitt, president of the main Atlantic City casino workers union and a lifelong Atlantic City resident, who was riding out the storm in his home. "When I think about how much water is already in the streets, and how much more is going to come with high tide tonight, this is going to be devastating."
Governor Chris Christie was hoping that low tide yesterday afternoon would give those who had not yet evacuated the state's barrier islands a chance to get out. In some places, they were stuck. By mid-afternoon, all three ways into and out of Ocean City were closed, and Atlantic City was cut off, meaning that those who had not left already were likely stuck for the duration of the storm.
"This is not a time to be a show-off. This is not a time to be stupid. This is the time to save yourself and your family," Christie said at a news conference.
Those who did not heed evacuation orders, he said, were putting themselves and rescue workers in harm's way, calling them "stupid and selfish".