It's been nearly ten months since Hurricane Sandy hit, and this week, Governor Christie will be stopping at shore towns to see just how far they've come since the storm. The Governor was in North Wildwood Tuesday, where he spent time talking to visitors and residents about life after the storm.
It was a day of strolling the boardwalk and saying hello in North Wildwood Tuesday, and also catching up to see how the summer season is going, following Hurricane Sandy. “Tourism's down a little,” said North Wildwood Mayor Bill Henfey, “but it has just as much to do with the weather and the economy, I think, as it had to do with Sandy.”
“Slow, everybody's complaining.” The owner of Fisher's Steak and Spaghetti House got a chance to speak to the governor about how their season has been less than ideal. “We're working so hard,” said Eleni Koutsimaris, “so I hope everything's ok next year, you know.”
“We'll be better next year,” Christie told her. “There's no doubt that business was going to be down all over the Jersey shore because a lot of people, having seen the extraordinary destruction, didn't believe we'd be able to be up and running again in time for summer,” he explained.
But, the governor says they've done a lot of work to be sure the state's beaches and waters were ready for visitors, since they're a vital part of the state's tourism economy. “We removed over 200 vessels from state waters, we've completed sonar searches of 195,000 underwater acres, and cleared debris from over 275 marinas,” Christie told a crowd assembled at Morey’s Piers, “What you see here today is what you see in most of the places up and down the Jersey shore- vibrant open beaches and clean water for people to enjoy.”
While the governor says we've come along way, he also said we still have a lot more to do. He initially said it would take about two years to recover from Sandy, and still feels that's an accurate assessment. “There's still thousands of people that are not back in their homes, people are still trying to grapple with the damage and loss from Sandy,” said Christie, “we will continue to work hard and work together, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate the things that have gone extraordinarily well in the last nine months.”
Christie's democratic opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial election, State Senator Barbara Buono, is airing campaign ads featuring storm victims who have not gotten their lives back together since Sandy.
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