Atlantic City Underwater as Hurricane Sandy Nears

As hurricane Sandy barrels down on the entire mid-Atlantic region, famed Atlantic City, N.J. is already said to be almost completely underwater.

For only the fourth time in 34 years Atlantic City has closed the doors to all casinos in the city as Hurricane Sandy nears.

As Hurricane Sandy continues to come ashore, record storm surges are expected, according to experts, who are warning widespread flooding and destruction could take place.

State and local officials had warned residents in and around Atlantic City to evacuate, but many residents decided to hunker down and ride out the storm.

This may prove costly as emergency responders, already occupied responding to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, could be delayed in responding to people who have stayed behind.

Water evacuations were being conducted on a case by case basis due to the quickly rising water level which will only get worse as the storm intensifies.

"The city's basically flooded," Willie Glass, Atlantic City's public safety director, told AP. "Most of the city is under water."

Hurricane Sandy is over 800 miles wide and it has been reported that its effects were being felt as far away as the Great Lakes. As the storm draws inland forecasters predict the storm gaining speed as it approaches the shore only to stall as it continues along its unusual path of the eastern coast line.

Forecaster are predicting Hurricane Sandy to affect a great portion of the eastern third of the United States for the next 24-36 hours, bringing up to 10 inches of rain and widespread flooding in some of the hardest hit areas.

"Although only a category 1 hurricane, Sandy is causing big problems for the U. S. northeastern states due to its huge size and slow movement up the U. S. East Coast," Jane Strachan, Willis Research Fellow at the University of Reading, told AP.

"Powerful winds, torrential rains and storm surges threaten states from the Carolinas to New England," she added.