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New Jersey Still Not Back To Normal Post-Sandy, Poll Says [AUDIO]

It’s been nearly four months since Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast and life is not yet back to normal for about three-quarters of New Jerseyans according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll which finds that 77 percent refer to the storm as a “transformative event.”

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

A quarter of those personally affected by the storm say they aren’t fully recovered while more than 60 percent of those respondents reported unrepaired damage to their home.

Most New Jerseyans are not in a rush to repair damage at the shore. In fact, 62 percent say assessing potential for future damage is more important than rushing to rebuild before summer. Nearly eight in 10, or 78 percent, want government to pay for repairs and rebuilding, while half of these residents believe property owners should share the cost and 17 percent want property owners to shoulder the entire burden.

“New Jersey will be dealing with the effects of Superstorm Sandy for years,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Whether Sandy will prove transformative depends on how its effects influence decisions about rebuilding and future mitigation.”

When it comes to the state government’s efforts post-Sandy, Governor Christie continues to get decent marks. The poll finds 92 percent of Garden Staters say the Governor is handling recovery efforts at least “somewhat well,” 62 percent say “very well,” which is down seven points from a November Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. President Obama doesn’t fare quite as well with 82 percent saying his post-Sandy work is going at least “somewhat well” and only 44 percent saying his efforts are going “very well.” That is a 12 point drop since November. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross get positive marks, but are down since November. Local government also have a positive rating with 39 percent saying their local government is doing very well with recovery.

“New Jerseyans continue to feel that first responders and political leadership have done a good job handling Sandy and its aftermath,” said Redlawsk. “But some drop in sentiment from November is probably inevitable as the recovery continues. Few feel truly negative.”

The poll also finds:

  • Almost three-quarters of New Jersyans say the state is not back to normal and women are 13 points more likely than men to feel this way, 80 versus 67 percent.
  • More than six in 10 residents, 62 percent, are cautious about rebuilding at the shore and believe assessments of the potential for future damage should be made beforehand.
  • Those personally affected by the storm are slightly less likely to want immediate action, 32 to 37 percent.

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