The Atlantic City Boardwalk has been severely compromised by Hurricane Sandy, witnesses have reported, and the historic landmark is said to have been destroyed to the point of being not recognizable in the massive storm’s destructive wake.
The latter reports that the Atlantic City boardwalk is “already floating in pieces through the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey,” but efforts to report on the exact state of affairs in the destroyed city are hampered by the conditions currently being experienced as the storm hits.
The Atlantic City boardwalk has been a mainstay of the city for well over a century, first appearing in 1870 and most recently recalled from the earlier era in the HBO hit Boardwalk Empire.
Images of the Atlantic City boardwalk, apparently all but gone, have been appearing on Twitter and Instagram, but frequently without source or timestamp attached.
Pictures of the boardwalk floating in pieces through Atlantic City preceded a controversial speech by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who strongly admonished the mayor of the city for what Christie says is a suggestion residents evacuate to shelters in Atlantic City rather than leaving entirely.
Christie also took to Twitter to express his disappointment at residents of Atlantic City and nearby areas who did not evacuate, saying:
I am very disappointed in those who did not listen to my order to evacuate.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 29, 2012
I hope and pray there will not be a loss of life because of people’s decisions to stay. — Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 29, 2012
You are going to be shocked when you see the images coming out of the Jersey Shore. — Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 29, 2012
As of 5:30 at a press conference, Christie warned Atlantic City residents that had chosen to stay behind that no help would be coming this evening due to the dangerous conditions and risk posted to rescuers.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper later tweeted:
Wow, water coming up fast along coast in Asbury Park. All of a sudden it’s everywhere. Boardwalk is covered and its moving down block
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) October 29, 2012
No official accounts of the estimated damage to Atlantic City have yet emerged, and Sandy continues to pummel the Jersey Shore after making landfall this hour.