In the wake of a once-in-a-lifetime storm, Mayor Jay Gillian announced at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday that a mandatory evacuation of Ocean City will continue for a third day.
Nobody will be allowed to travel back onto the island on Tuesday.
A mandatory evacuation order took effect at 4 p.m. Sunday as a massive hurricane approached the New Jersey coastline. The storm hit Monday and left extensive damage behind.
"Ocean City is not safe right now," Gillian said.
Two sewerage treatment stations are still not operating, the streets are littered with debris and downed electrical wires and there is structural damage to houses throughout Ocean City.
Gillian said city officials would meet on Wednesday morning to determine when to end the evacuation.
"I would be guessing, and I don't want to do that," Gillian said when pressed for an estimated time when residents could return to their homes..
"I have never seen a storm like this in my lifetime," Gillian said.
He noted major beach erosion "from point to point," flooded businesses on downtown Asbury Avenue and widespread structural damage to homes on the south end.
The city is still assessing the damage and couldn't begin to estimate totals, Gillian said.
He said he was thankful that there were no deaths or injuries in Ocean City.
He thanked citizens, city employees and emergency management workers for their cooperation.
The city housed about 30 people at Ocean City High School during the storm, and another 120 were transported to a shelter at Upper Township Intermediate School.
Ocean City High School will remain closed on Wednesday and trick-or-treating has been postponed.
Gillian said that by tomorrow morning the city should have more information for evacuated residents.