Atlantic City mayor hopes to confront Christie 'mano-a-mano'

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During a press conference Monday, Christie lashed out at Langford — a longtime political foe — for having opened shelters in Atlantic City. Storm conditions flooded some of the shelters Monday, and the city became inaccessible to rescue crews Monday afternoon.

“Despite my admonition to evacuate, he gave them comfort for some reason to stay,” Christie said, adding that he "cannot in good conscience send rescuers in as the storm is about to hit in the next hour, nor can I send them in in the dark given all the various hazards that would occur potentially for them."

Langford said Tuesday that fortunately most residents did heed the advice to flee Atlantic City, but that some residents were unable to leave.

"It's better to have options than not need them than to need options and not have them," Langford said. "We had a plan in place for those few residents who would decide at the last minute that they would not try to heed our warning and vacate the city but would try to hunker down, tough it out only to find that at some other time they wanted to flee. We had that contingency plan in place."

In an interview earlier on NBC's "Today," Christie said "the fact of the matter is I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City."

"I guess my anger has turned to sympathy for those folks, and we're in the midst now of trying to go in and save them. Daylight has come. We've got an urban search and rescue team … we're going to try to save the folks. I'm sorry that they received mixed messages. For some reason the mayor gave folks a mixed message. We need to get these people out and safe, and that's what we're going to do."