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Christie, In Brick: Shore Destruction is 'Unfathomable'

Restoring power, access to fuel are immediate priorities, governor says

Parts of the Jersey Shore are “unrecognizable,” Gov. Chris Christie said in Brick Friday afternoon.

Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno toured parts of Ocean County, including Mantoloking and Bay Head Friday, before coming to a FEMA relief center set up at Emma Havens Young Elementary School in Brick to address the media.

“The destruction the lieutenant governor and I have seen … is just unfathomable,” said Christie. “I’ve driven on Route 35 since I was coming to the shore with my parents as a young child. And you just can’t recognize the place. It is heartbreaking."

“It’s unrecognizable,” he said. “Once you’re able to go there, you will not believe what you see.”

Chritie described walking on Route 35 where sand was piled calf-deep.

“I tell you this because I want you to understand just how destructive this storm was,” an emotional Christie said.

The governor said his immediate priorities going forward will be restoring power, upping fuel supplies and easing lines at gas pumps, getting children back to school and ensuring there is clean water statewide.

Christie said 1.4 million customers statewide were still without power Friday afternoon, down from 2.7 million customers at the height of the storm. He said he expects the vast majority of the state to have power restored by Election Day, next Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Power to Long Beach Island is expected to be restored by Friday night, though power to the Barnegat Peninsula may take much longer to restore, the governor said.

The state is working to obtain specific timelines on when certain areas will be restored, and Christie said his administration would hold utility companies to their estimates.

“No one knows how to pressure people better than I do,” he said.

The state will be prioritizing restoring power to gas station as well as fuel deliveries, some of which will be delivered by the National Guard, the governor announced.

Turning off natural gas lines on the barrier islands was a decision “not lightly” made by state officials, since the gas lines will now be destroyed and have to be rebuilt, said Christie. But continuing fires fuled by open lines made the decision necessary.

Repopulating the barrier islands will take time, he said.

“We’re going to let you on there as soon as we have made it safe for you to be on there,” said Christie, adding that Long Beach Island fared significantly better in the storm than the Barnegat Peninsula and would probably be open sooner.

“It’s not that I don’t want you to go and see your homes,” he said. “It’s that I want you to be safe when you go and see your homes.”

For those whose homes have been destroyed or rendered unlivable by the storm, Christie said FEMA would be providing temporary housing. The federal agency has set up mobile relief centers in Brick and Cape May Point where residents can go to obtain information, make claims and receive assistance.

The Brick relief center is located in the parking lot of Emma Havens Young Elementary School.

Long term goals will be consulting with the Army Corps of Engineers on how to rebuild most areas, and discussing whether some should not be rebuilt, said Christie. Either way, a priority will be ensuring the state’s $38 billion tourism industry is maintained.

Christie said the priorities have shifted from search and rescue missions to “charting a course to rebuilding.”

“And that’s what we’re about to embark upon, all of us together.”

Bowie Thelonius November 02, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I LOVE Gov. Christie. No BS, no excuses, this guy get things done.
RayneL November 02, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I have to admit, I have come to dislike Chris Christie as Governor, but in the midst of tragedy and devastation among the state of New Jersey he has shown some backbone and courage that even I can appreciate. Kudos, Christie.
beachgirl November 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I have never been a Christie fan, but if ever we needed a governor who is unafraid to ruffle some feathers and not take any BS, he's the man and this is the time to do it! I think he and the Lt. governor are doing a great job and I love that they are being so proactive and getting things done. Kudos, Governor!!
melissa November 02, 2012 at 11:22 PM
We don't have power here in brick and I'm ok with that. I have 4 kids as well. We should be thankful we have a house left. Keep the negative comments to yourself. Stick together or we will fall apart.
joe November 02, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Maybe now the state or feds will mandate that all gas stations have back up generators to operate the gas pumps. Make the oil companies supply them to the franchisees, so the gas station owners don't foot the bill. Big oil can afford it.
patty November 03, 2012 at 12:08 AM
I understand how overwhelming a job it will be to make the island habitable. But could they PLEASE let homeowners on to gather irreplaceable family items BEFORE the Wed. Nor'easter. My house is still standing - a miracle- the agony would be to know I could have at least retrieved personal belongings and authorities (and believe me, I am very grateful to all the wonderful responders) but PLEASE, PLEASE, let us have a chance to do what little we can during this short window.
Jeffrey November 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM
why do gas lines need to be destroyed and re-built. Sorry, just not understanding?
Tina Prins November 03, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Once the turn off the gas lines and bleed them for excess natural gas, the lines will fill with salt water, rendering them unusable again.
Jeffrey November 03, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Thanks. That makes sense!
Louis November 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Instead of worrying about back up generators at gas stations how about a real shovel ready project lets get all the utilities under ground. Can you just imagine how many people that would put back to work faster?
Chief Wahoo November 03, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Maybe Christie will finally keep his false promise and lower the damn property taxes. The sheep may finally understand it's nothing more than a box with a roof.
Bill November 03, 2012 at 02:11 AM
your login should be "Chief Yahoo"
Leslie November 03, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I agree, Bill.
Tom Cular November 03, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Louis, Several years ago the local politicos in Ocean City, MD wanted to do that for appearence. When they were made aware of the cost, they changed their tune. It's quite different to require new utility construction to be underground, but to change existing overhead to underground would cost more than you would understand.
Mrs. G. November 03, 2012 at 08:22 AM
Because the natural gas lines that supply natural gas to the barrier islands were causing serious fires. The lines had to be destroyed so there would be no fuel source for the fires to burn out of control. They are flooded with water and must now be rebuilt. It was a hard choice to make, but one which was needed in order to save lives and property.
OceanCounty November 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Actually as I understand it, once you shut off the gas, water will infiltrate the lines, and that will cause damage to the lines
John November 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Dose anyone think that any president could repair the destruction from Mother nature in just a few days? Get a grip!!!! I guess some people think the president is magic? Everyone has to relax and help each another get things back to normal! Just like we used to years ago. JFK said" It's not what this country can do for you, it's what can you do for this county". Everyone's looking for hand outs now adays. What a shame. This country is only as good as the people in it!!! Just like my company is only as good as the people that work for me.. .....Americans are so spoiled! And yes. I am an American. Besides When you live next to the ocean on sandy flat land, what the hell do you think is going to happen when Mother nature gets stirred up? DUH
Mrgrumpass November 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Hay Chief your comments are not appropriate here or relevant today back under your rock.
Mrgrumpass November 03, 2012 at 01:22 PM
John 90% of the people who were affected by this storm are the Worker Bees the people who worked hard for their homes and what they have (or had) the president can’t do it instantly we all know that, I lost much in this storm as did others but I see that the relief trucks were at the public housing in Asbury Park very quickly but not in my town. Just as the aftermath of Katrina it seems that those who contribute the least get help first! And no I don’t live on the water I had a modest home and lived paycheck to paycheck. And I don’t have power in my home to run my computer I am using a friends computer in their home. The Worker Bees are always the last to receive help and first to be abused, How dare you say we are spoiled we built what we have and we deserve action for the Worker Bees first for a change we are the first to be asked for donations, and the first to be highly taxed we pay for our own gas and electricity as well as eat the ever rising cost. No John Worker Bees first for a change and the parasites last!
Mrgrumpass November 03, 2012 at 01:28 PM
FYI most of the population of the world live on cost lines! All beach fronts I don't think so!
John November 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM
parasites are immune to all insecticides. They will always be there! Put your grumpyass to sleep for a while then get up and do something instead of complain on your friends PC. Go shovel Sandy!
John November 03, 2012 at 03:03 PM
If your lucky enough to still have a home to sleep in, then you should be happy. Instead most people with homes are complaining they dont have power. If you dont then shame on you for not having a generator! I bet the people complaining are the ones that are never wrong! LOL. Shame on you!!!!! Your wrong this time and dont go pointing middle finger at the power company.
Rosemary Poulson November 03, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Hi, my name is Rosemary Poulson and I am trying to find out what has happened to my cousin, Mrs. James (Loretta Cosgrove) Cody. Her home is/was at 4 Toronto Dr. in Bricktown. If you have any information, could you e-mail me please at poulsongap162@gmail.com or call 1-207-778-2860? There only a few of us Cosgrove cousins left and so we treasure every one. Thanks. Rosemary
Dentss Dunnagun November 03, 2012 at 03:23 PM
We don't need the government dictacting ow to run a business ,what they should or shouldn't have ...where does it stop ...why not demant all supermarkets have back up power supply ,you know what comes next every home as shouls have one as well ....we want less gov't not more ...wean your self off the nanny state mentality
Mary November 03, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Shore Acres off Drum Point Road update. Damage to houses is considerable in the amount of flood waters that entered houses. Channel Drive had water up to shoulder height in the street. Boats that were parked in yards for winter storage floated down the road into neightbors yards. Garbage collection seems to be every day to pick up the debris from people throwing out furniture and drywall, etc. If your car and house were not 6 feet above normal high tide your house and car are suffering damage. Police are stationed at Shore Acres to check for ID to enter area due to looting. Looting happening on water side also.
Mary November 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I have family on Longpoint. 3 inches of water came in house overnight when storm hit and winds changed. Your family members house unfortunately is even more exposed to the bay than my family. All depending on how high the house was to the normal high tide would determine more and is the house on the bay directly. Houses on Paul Jones drive in Shore Acres took a real beating. I was just down on LongPoint yesterday and one of the neighbors said that whole roofs came off houses. If I were you at this point I would call the police. They are currently down in the area watching for looting. They may be able to send a police car over to check on your family. Many people stayed and I will bet you anything they will never stay again through a storm.
Moxie November 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Rosemary, the house is located in the Drum Point Road area on the bay. This house was one where they were told to evacuate. She is probably safe in a shelter. Maybe you can get ahold of someone organizing the shelters...I'll bet they have a roster of names. Good luck...God bless..
Mary November 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I don't think you will even be allowed near the area. The other side of the Mantoloking Bridge- the house are totaled so I think it won't be good for you. If I hear anything I will let you know. Was down in Brick yesterday and police are limiting who can go in the most damaged areas. Shore Acres suffered greatly but not as extensive as the other side of the Mantoloking Bridge. Good luck and will update if I get anything.
Mary November 03, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I just found a current satellite image from NOAA of the Mantoloking Bridge area that you are concerned about. http://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/sandy/
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