Christie to remain in New Hampshire as crippling storm approaches NJ
With most of New Jersey now under a blizzard watch for this weekend, Gov. Chris Christie plans to remain on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, rather than making his way back to the Garden State as the storm approaches.
Christie, who is campaigning this week in Chester, New Hampshire, told reporters that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is "handling things" as the potentially crippling winter storm approaches.
"The lieutenant governor is there and she is handling things on the ground there. If I needed to go back I would, but at this point it is too speculative to know," Christie told reporters, according to a 6 ABC video.
The governor told reporters that his home state has been through the storm preparation process before. He said he had a call Wednesday night with members of his staff regarding the storm and their assignments and he's planning another call for Thursday night as the storm moves closer to New Jersey.
"We're preparing for the worst, like we always do, and you can always scale back. So, like I said, we've been through this dance a bunch of times before, from my perspective we're doing the things we need to do," Christie said.
According to NJ 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, the impending storm could dump a foot of snow or more on parts of the Garden State. Coastal flooding and high, gusty winds are also expected.
"In terms of getting the roadways ready, dealing with potential coastal flooding and all the rest of that. So everyone on the call last night had their assignments, I gave everybody their assignments. I'll be back on the phone at 10 p.m. tonight. They know if they need me before then, they just call me and get me. We've got through this rodeo a bunch of times before, we know how to do it."
Christie is on a six-day swing in New Hampshire. On Thursday, he met with locals at a restaurant, visited a sheriff's departments and a manufacturing plant and was scheduled for a town hall meeting at a high school in Meredith in the evening, according to the governor's office. His Friday schedule will include a drug recovery roundtable, a visit to a VFW and two town hall meetings.
In an emailed statement late Thursday night, the governor's office said Christie is keeping an eye on the winter storm and its potential impact on the Garden State
“Gov. Christie continues to actively monitor the winter storm and held a telephone briefing of his cabinet this evening to direct the state’s contingency and response planning. New Jersey's state agencies are making all necessary preparations while models of the storm’s path and the potential impact on New Jersey become clearer as we approach the weekend," the statement reads. “The Governor will receive an updated briefing tomorrow on final preparations and to determine any additional steps that need to be taken to ensure New Jersey is fully prepared and ready to clear roadways, address power outages and utility customer needs, and respond to any needs as they emerge.”
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.