Hours after pounding the south Jersey Shore, flooding streets in several communities and ripping away part of Atlantic City’s legendary Boardwalk, Hurricane Sandy officially made landfall near Atlantic at about 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the National Hurricane Center announced.
And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is angry tonight after Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford suggested city residents could shelter in place, and said he could not send emergency responders in after dark.
“You’ve got people staying, either self-sheltering in their homes or shelters there.” One of the shelters is just a block from the bay area in Atlantic City. “If you’re still able to hear me, you need to hunker down and get to the highest point of the building you’re in.”
Not that people hadn’t been dealing with the storm for hours after the outer edges pounded Atlantic City and the surrounding area with punishing winds, high surf and heavy rain. And landfall arrived an hour after the hurricane was downgraded into a post-tropical cyclone – a storm similar to a nor’easter but as powerful as a Category 1 hurricane.
Emergency officials said that even though Sandy isn’t being called a hurricane anymore, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be afraid of her wrath. When the center of the storm hit Atlantic City, its maximum sustained winds were 80 miles per hour, only slightly less in the center of the storm than they were earlier today.
More than one million homes and businesses in New Jersey have no power tonight, and the storm is still considered dangerous and life-threatening.