Gov. Chris Christie questioned Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford's statement that went against his orders in telling Atlantic City residents to stay where they were, even after Christie emphasised the need to evacuate the city.
Christie made the statement during a press conference Monday night, Oct. 29, in Ewing, Mercer County.
"Mayor Langford told them to stay at shelters in the city and now they're stuck," Christie said during the news conference. "... Despite my admonition, he gave them comfort to stay."
Atlantic City residents who stayed behind were stuck in a shelter as Hurricane Sandy was making landfall Monday night. Earlier in the day, Atlantic County Office of Emergency Management officials called all first responders off the street for safety concerns.
He went on to say there were some residents who were angry they were told to evacuate during Hurricane Irene, but continued to question Langford.
"He said he didn't want his people leaving Atlantic City," Christie said of Langford when asked by a reporter. "All I know is I read him telling his constituents to stay.
"Now I have emergency personnel risking their lives because Mayor Langford was concerned people were mad. That's not leadership."
During the conference, Christie stated Pres. Barack Obama said to "contact him directly" if there he needed any federal aid he felt he wasn't getting.
"That's leadership I can appreciate," Christie said.
Christie warned those still on the barrier islands not to try to evacuate at this point. According to the Press of Atlantic City, 135 people were still in Atlantic City shelters late Monday afternoon.
"Get to the highest point possible," Christie said. "I'm very disappointed some decided to disobey my order and in government officials who told them to directly disobey my orders. It's going to cost people over the next several hours."
He reiterated to those watching him Monday night to "please stay home."
"Stay safe, keep your children close, and we will continue to work hard to make sure as many people in New Jersey are safe."
He added 42 roads throughout the state are closed.