State has ‘made progress’ with helping Sandy victims
More than two-and-a-half years after Superstorm Sandy slammed New Jersey, some Garden State residents are still not back in their homes, but Gov. Chris Christie says the state has "made progress" toward helping victims of the disaster.
Last night on "Ask The Governor," Christie said tremendous progress has been made, but "if anybody thought we were going to lose 365,000 homes in 24 hours and that two years later every one of those homes was going to be rebuilt, then you're not thinking."
Christie said some of the problems have been caused by state and federal bureaucracy, but additionally, it's local zoning ordinances, fraud and the builders who actually do the work.
"It's simply unrealistic to think all rebuilding would be completed. If we had full-time construction crews working 24 hours a day we wouldn't have it done," Christie said.
The governor also said progress is being made.
"We're making really good progress on this and the fact is, you saw the tourism numbers come out. For last year, we had a record year. The Jersey shore is back," Christie said. "Does that mean that every person is back in their home? No, and if you remember I said right from the beginning this was going to be a years-long process to get this done."
When Christie was asked what his advice would be to leaders in other states that get hit by a disaster, one of his main points involved having patience.
"There's pressure to pick people who run the assistance programs and you want to go as quickly as possible, but you need to take a deep breath and take a little more time. Also put pressure on Congress to give help more quickly, because the whole process takes time," Christie said.
The governor also said some towns are holding up dune build-up projects.
"You know this is the ultimate selfishness," he said. "Margate, Bayhead, the ultimate selfishness, they care more about their views than their neighbors, it's a sad commentary."