A long journey ahead

Hurricane Sandy Seaside Heights
An aerial view of Seaside Heights after Hurrican Sandy. (The Star-Ledger)

As New Jersey inches toward the massive task of rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie offered a message of hope and hardship today, saying that while most residents can expect a return to normalcy by Monday, it could be years before shattered coastal communities are fully restored.

Speaking in Seaside Park, on the barrier island where he spent his childhood summers and where he now vacations with his own children, Christie appeared to grow emotional as he pledged to be a partner in a rebuilding effort he said would be slow, expensive and full of frustrations.

“I want to be honest and direct about this,” the governor said. “This phase is going to take months — months, if not years — to be completed fully and to our satisfaction. The devastation we’ve seen over the last week is not something that can be rebuilt overnight. And I have to tell you a hard truth. Next summer is not going to be like last summer.”

Calling Sandy “our Katrina,” Christie said he would work to ensure New Jersey receives the same attention and federal support given to states along the Gulf Coast after the 2005 hurricane there. He said he planned to meet with his cabinet in the days ahead to map out a long-term strategy.

“It might feel like we’re down right now, and today was not a pleasant day to see some of the sights I saw, but just because we’re down today doesn’t mean we won’t be up tomorrow,” he said.

Read the story at NJ.com (Nov. 9, 2012)

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