Atlantic City and its casinos opened at 10 a.m. on Friday, after being shut for five days due to Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Lorenzo Langford made a formal announcement at a noon news conference.
The Mayor thanked emergency responders, city workers and especially residents - many who have not returned to their homes since the storm and others who have been staying at area shelters for the past five days.
“My heart goes out to you still. I owe you a debt of gratitude. The way you heeded the clarion call to vacate the city and the way you exuded extreme patience during these trying times, I thank you for that.”
The move came minutes after Gov. Chris Christie lifted the mandatory evacuation order for AC residents.
Residents who return to the city and find their homes inhabitable we be able to go to a shelter set up at the Convention Center Ballroom D. At least 2,500 people who live in two apartment complexes will not be able to return until Saturday morning due to damage.
The Mayor cautioned residents saying the city is not out of the woods yet. There are still 25 percent of residents without power and many traffic lights still don’t work.
“I need to implore you to use extreme caution when you move out and about the city of Atlantic City. There still might be dangerous situations elsewhere throughout the city,” Langford said.
Mayor Langford said one person died during Hurricane Sandy.
“Given the catastrophic nature of this event, I think we can all agree Atlantic City has been blessed for a minimum of loss life.”
Division of Gaming Enforcement investigators and personnel have been assigned to each casino to ensure compliance with internal control procedures and to complete a final authorization to commence operations.
Director David Rebuck said maintaining the integrity of the casinos is "paramount."
"The director has indicated that a complete review and assessment of the status and condition of each casino property, including the casino floors, its equipment, surveillance, security and gaming related computer systems have been completed," Christie said in a release. "I have extreme confidence in Division of Gaming Enforcement staff as they begin the re-opening process of gaming operations in Atlantic City."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attacked Mayor Langford Monday, calling him a “rogue mayor” for opening shelters in the city, instead of insisting that residents leave in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. It turns out Langford did tell residents to heed to the evacuation order.
“I can assure you in the coming days, we will have a lot to say about how the city was treated, Langford said.”