New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his state’s handling of the first major snowstorm of the 2015-2016 season on national television today.
Speaking this morning on CNN, the Governor said. “We’ve really done very, very well.” when asked how his administration handled the weekend storm. Host Jake Tapper asked the big question on many people’s minds. This after the Governor on Saturday said that the coastal flooding was well within what forecasters predicted.
Jake Tapper: “The Mayor of North Wildwood, New Jersey said the flooding there is worse than during Sandy. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated. Were officials in New Jersey caught off guard?”
Chris Christie: “Oh, no. Listen, the folks that were evacuated were evacuated when we planned to do that if the tide came in. Let’s keep this in perspective, Jake. North Wildwood and the Cape May County area was the least flooded area during Hurricane Sandy and had almost no damage in that area of the state. So to compare it to Hurricane Sandy, you’re not comparing it to what happened to the rest of the state and also, from looking at what is going on in Margate. High tide is now over in Margate and the water will now recede and we have no concerns for flooding the rest of the day today and what we’re hearing from the mayors is that there is no significant type of property damage there at all and so we’ve really done very, very well in this storm, and we have no concerns about flooding or damage from flooding any time soon.”
It is true that the devastating flooding seen during Superstorm Sandy was mainly north of Atlantic City and that areas like Wildwood and Cape May were not hit nearly as hard. But still the videos from Saturday from places like Wildwood and Sea Isle City did show water waist high covering some streets. The mere suggestion by Christie that this flooding was what he expected prompted 6ABC reporter Cecily Tynan to fire off this tweet.
— Cecily Tynan (@CecilyTynan) January 23, 2016
Christie said this morning on CNN that no one has died in New Jersey and that only 113 people in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties had to be sheltered. Nationwide 16 deaths have been tied to the storm that pounded the East Coast with one to two feet of snow, wind gusts above 50 mph, and icy coastal flooding. Christie had nothing but praise for how things went.
“All of New Jersey roadways are open this morning. New Jersey Transit, buses, and light rail are ready by noon today. By later this afternoon all of New Jersey Transit will be back up and running. So that when we get to our morning rush tomorrow morning we’ll be ready to go with no problem at all. This has been a model response. As I said yesterday, this is my 17th snow emergency in six years. We know how to do this and it went very well yesterday,” said Christie.
Chris Christie is already back in New Hampshire. He is using his handling of Blizzard Jonas as an example in executive leadership.
“There are some candidates in this race who try to tell you it doesn’t matter what you’ve done before. It does matter,” said Christie at a town hall in Portsmouth.”
He didn’t name rivals Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, both freshmen senators, but contrasted his executive experience with their legislative backgrounds. Christie has often said that Senate service does not prepare anyone for the White House.
“New Jersey has someone in charge who knew what he was doing,” Christie said. “The reason I knew what I was doing is because I’ve done it a lot of times before.”
As of 8 a.m. today an estimated 20,000 customers were without electricity. That is down from 100,000 midday Saturday during heavy snowfall and high winds. Governor Christie said 80 percent of those are in Atlantic and Cape May counties and he expects nearly all of them should have power by late tonight.