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Flooded Atlantic City, parts of historic boardwalk damaged, surveys damage

Tom Mihalek / Reuters

An Atlantic City resident surveys the damage done to a demolished section of the boardwalk on Tuesday morning.

Residents of Atlantic City, N.J. woke to scenes of flooding and destruction Tuesday morning after Superstorm Sandy made landfall hours earlier. Pieces of the city’s famed boardwalk were strewn around city streets still covered by floodwaters.

A flood advisory remained in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service, and roadway flooding was likely to continue until Tuesday afternoon, along with wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

Seth Wenig / AP

Sand and debris covers the streets near the water in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm which was downgraded from a hurricane just before making landfall, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“The city is under siege,” said Thomas Foley, the city’s chief of emergency management was quoted as saying in the New York Times

Crews from the city's Office of Emergency Preparedness were out surveying the damage on Tuesday morning.

Thousands were left without power on Tuesday morning, and crews from Atlantic City Electric were working as “quickly as possible to restore service,” the company posted on Twitter. It mobilized more than 1,100 employees and contractors to help in the aftermath of the storm.

New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie talks to TODAY's Matt Lauer about his disappointment with Mayor Lorenzo Langford's "mixed messages," saying "I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him."

Early Tuesday morning, the city’s utility authority advised residents to boil water before drinking it.

‘Unthinkable’ destruction
Atlantic City’s most recognizable landmarks were scarred by the storm, with the 'J' in the Trump Taj Mahal sign appearing to be missing, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Waves break next to an apartment building which flooded from Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday in Atlantic City, N.J.

Northern New Jersey towns submerged after Sandy's surge penetrates defenses

Travel into and out of Atlantic City and other N.J. barrier islands, including Margate and Ocean City, was still prohibited on Tuesday morning, with no plan to lift the ban in the near future, an Office of Emergency Management spokesman told NBC News.

“The level of devastation along the Jersey shore is “unthinkable,” said N.J. Gov. Chris Christie. Three deaths were reported in New Jersey on Tuesday morning.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday evening on a destructive and deadly path across the Northeast.

Despite the destruction, the mayor of Atlantic City sounded a more positive note.

“As devastating as this storm was with respect to property damage, I think the glass is half full and not half empty,” said Mayor Lorenzo Langford on TODAY. “We have experienced a minimal loss of life and injury and for that we should be thankful.”

The two men found themselves at the center of a public spat after Christie rebuked the mayor on Monday for offering some residents space in city shelters after an evacuation order was made.

“I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City,” Christie said on Tuesday morning on TODAY.

Yet the mayor was firm in his denial of Christie’s charges.

WCAU's Ted Greenberg reports from Atlantic City, N.J., where streets are flooded at "historic" levels by Hurricane Sandy, and a section of the city's famed boardwalk tore free and floated down the streets.

"Here we are in the throes of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen to play politics,” said Langfod on TODAY. “Most residents did heed warnings to flee city. Unfortunately, there will always be those who did not heed that warning. We had a plan in place for those few residents who would decide at the last minute that they would not try to heed our warning and vacate the city but would try to hunker down, tough it out, only to find at some other time that they wanted to flee. We had that contingency plan in place."

Atlantic City mayor on Gov. Christie's rebuke: 'Misinformed and ill-advised'

Nearly 6 inches of rain fell on the city as Sandy swept through, according to The Weather Channel.

On Sunday, the city ordered its casinos evacuated in advance of the storm. Even before it made landfall, crashing waves claimed an old, 50-foot piece of Atlantic City's world-famous Boardwalk.

Atlantic City, N.J., famous for its boardwalk and casinos, is underwater this morning. The city's mayor, Lorenzo Langford, calls in to discuss the status of the flooded city and the harsh criticism he received from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Forecasters stripped Sandy of hurricane status just before it hit at 8 p.m. near Atlantic City — but the distinction was purely technical, based on its shape and internal temperature. It still packed hurricane-force wind, and forecasters were careful to say it was still dangerous to the tens of millions in its path.

NBC News' Rachel Elbaum, the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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