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'Atlantic City is ready': Boardwalk reopens as residents line up for aid

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Two weeks after superstorm Sandy, Atlantic City residents celebrated the reopening of the famed boardwalk on Sunday.

Elvis and Michael Jackson impersonators were joined by a crowd of nearly 200 as they strutted down a mile-long stretch of the boardwalk from the Atlantic Club Hotel and Casino to the new Revel Casino.

"Atlantic City is here, it's whole, it's ready and begging for you to come back," said Liz Cartmell of the Atlantic City Alliance.

Hundreds of hospitality employees were among those who suffered severe losses during Sandy.

"These are people who if they're not scheduled, they don't make money," said Cartmell. "They rely on tips and they rely on their hours."

Getting help
At the same time, those affected by Sandy lined up by the hundreds at nearby Bader Field. Help from the Red Cross included everything from toothpaste and shaving items to a cleaning kit, shovels, brooms and baby supplies.

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"We've heard their story a million times," said Don Barker of the American Red Cross. "A lot of times this is the first time that the people have gotten to tell their stories to someone. That is huge."

Volunteers, some from as far away as Mexico and Canada, came by the hundreds to help victims.

Red Cross: Sandy response 'Near flawless'

"This is the largest I've ever seen, and the largest many of us have ever heard [in terms of] the number of people affected and the need that is out there," said Robbin Stephens of the Red Cross of British Columbia.


A snowstorm hits the Northeast as residents are still struggling to pick up the pieces after Superstorm Sandy.

'Overwhelmed' and 'happy'
For Latisha Williams, who lost two weeks of work and still needs to disinfect her home from the flood, the help is a lifeline.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed, I'm real happy," said Williams, who has a newborn daughter. "I don't want to tear up or anything, but it's really a good thing to see all this big help." 

Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, New Yorkers question whether help from the Red Cross will arrive. But CEO President Gail McGovern defends what she calls a massive relief effort. NBC's Lisa Myers reports.

Atlantic City Alliance told NBC10 that in the days after the casinos reopened, occupancy lingered at 10 percent, but has edged up to nearly 50 percent thanks to the recent warm weather.

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