Mayor Langford to request that Atlantic City reopen Friday morning
Mayor Lorenzo Langford will make a formal request that the governor reopen Atlantic City Friday morning.
Langford, along with Public Safety Director Willie Glass and Police Chief Ernest Jubilee, surveyed the city Thursday evening and found enough power was back to merit the reopening at 8 a.m.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Chris Christie reopened all but two of Atlantic County’s barrier island towns, saying Atlantic City and Ventnor would remain closed at the request of their municipal leaders.
“We were waiting for enough of the city to be repowered that we would be comfortable with lights and everything,” Glass said.
On Thursday, they got what they were waiting for.
“Requests (to reopen) are being made as we speak,” he said Thursday night.
By 11 p.m., the governor still had not confirmed receiving the request, which Glass said was sent through the State Police. Glass hoped to get an answer first thing Friday morning.
Another issue that Atlantic City had been facing was concerns about its water quality, but an advisory for residents to boil water was lifted Thursday evening.
Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority customers were notified Tuesday of a possible problem with the drinking water caused by flooding at the treatment plant.
“We are pleased to report that corrective actions have been completed and subsequent water-quality testing shows the water quality to be safe,” the ACMUA said in a statement.
Officials are still encouraging the following measures:
-- Run faucets for 3-5 minutes to flush service connections and interior plumbing with water from the service main.
-- Empty and clean automatic ice makers and water chillers.
-- Drain and refill hot water heater if the temperature is set below 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
-- Service connections with a water softener/cartridge filters should be run through a regeneration cycle or other procedures recommended by the manufacturer.
The tests were conducted because tidal waters entered the treatment plant, which is in Pleasantville, ACMUA Executive Director Neil Goldfine said.
The plant was submerged in between 3 and 4 feet of water during the storm. The plant lost power and, for unknown reasons, the cover blew off a sample port, creating an entryway for the floodwater into the plant, Goldfine said.
Whenever that happens, the ACMUA must issue a boil-water advisory immediately, which it did.
Elsewhere in the resort, The Walk Outlets had not yet reopened, and the property’s manager did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Many convenience stores already have resumed operations to cater to the roughly 7,500 residents who stayed behind and wanted food, water, cigarettes and other items.
Residents, meanwhile, are anxious to return to check their homes for damage from 8-foot-deep flooding. Some walked back over Route 40; others took a boat from Pleasantville Yacht Club to the bay next to Chelsea Heights to avert police traffic checkpoints on the three causeways into the resort.
Whenever they can come back, jitneys will be waiting at the Atlantic City Convention Center for residents arriving on public transportation to take them back to their houses, Atlantic City Jitney Association President Tom Woodruff said.
City Public Works crews set up Dumpsters at each public school building to help reduce the waterlogged contents of people’s homes. More Dumpsters will be made available citywide as they’re no longer needed to haul away pieces of the Boardwalk, Public Works Director Paul Jerkins said.
“We know it’s going to be really challenging for them … but it makes life a lot easier to have those Dumpsters in certain areas,” Jerkins said.
With streets cleared by Wednesday, Jerkins’ workers cleared debris off people’s lawns Thursday and started removing Boardwalk planks blown from the dilapidated section along the Absecon Inlet.
Crews from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s Special Improvement Division have been voluntarily reporting to work for 12-hour shifts and will continue to do so through the weekend as cleanup continues. The work has been done by about 50 employees, who under contract would have been paid whether or not they reported to work, officials said.
CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri said the bulk of the cleanup effort has focused on removing fallen trees and other debris from the Boardwalk, sidewalks and streets within the Tourism District.
Crews have worked to replace planters and trash cans. They’ve also removed trees, sand, glass, shingles and other debris, and checked on lighting on the Boardwalk.
“There isn’t anything that is strikingly obvious at this point,” he said. “That’s not to speak for people’s homes, just the public side of things.”
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