Nor’easter Delays Sandy Recovery [POLL/VIDEO]
Down from 2.7 million, more than 300,000 electric customers remained without power late Wednesday from Hurricane Sandy last week, but the second part of the one-two punch on New Jersey, this week's nor'easter, put a snag in the state's recovery efforts.
"I'm waiting for the locusts and the pestilence next," joked Governor Chris Christie at a Harvey Cedars press event that focused on storm recovery and, at the same time, storm preparation.
Many homes and businesses went black again as the nor'easter delivered rain, snow and winds.
Utility crews continued to restore power; per federal safety guidelines, crews would have to cease work in areas with winds greater than 40 miles per hour.
"We have 11,000 utility workers on the ground in New Jersey," Christie explained. "We're housing them here; we're not letting them leave."
Christie noted the forecast for the upcoming weekend calls for sun and warmer temperatures, so officials and residents should get some much-needed time to clean up from both weather events.
At the already-battered shore, bulldozers and front-end loaders were creating temporary dunes to take on the new storm.
Last week's monster storm changed New Jersey's coastline forever, swallowing beaches and some safeguards in place to protect shore residents from the sea.
Bob Martin, Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said a pattern seen over the past several storms is more rain and more wind hitting New Jersey.
"The major thing we need to focus on is working the Army Corps of Engineers, on how we're going to rebuild and repair all these coastal towns right now," Martin said.
He noted dune structures made a dramatic difference during Sandy, and his department will work to have proper dune placement at all at-risk shore communities.
The Governor noted the odd-even gasoline rationing system will continue at least through the weekend, as a reverse in power outage numbers can put gas stations back in the dark.
"I'll make an evaluation this weekend about whether to keep odd-even (rationing) in place for next week," Christie said.
Governor Christie press event - Wednesday