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Christie: Go Back to Work, Open Schools, Calm Down

Governor Chris Christie and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited Hoboken on Sunday, urging residents to get their lives back to close to normal.

The state should be as good as back to normal by the end of next week, Gov. Chris Christie said during a press conference in Hoboken on Sunday afternoon.

"A week ago today we were prepping for the storm to come tomorrow," Christie said. "It's going to be a long and difficult process to get us back to normal."

Christie urged school districts to open on Monday if possible and people to go to work. New Jersey Transit has increased buses — about 200 more between New York and New Jersey — for the Monday morning commute.

New Jersey Transit restored 90 percent of its bus service as of Sunday afternoon and four of its rail lines had begun running again.

"People should go back to work tomorrow," he said. All roads — except four by the barrier islands — were reopened as of Sunday.

No announcement was made yet about when PATH service will resume. Both the tunnels and the substation that powers the PATH system suffered heavy flooding. The governor also urged people to carpool and not wait until rush hour to drive to work.

"We have to work together and be patient," Christie continued. The governor was joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer in downtown Hoboken. Earlier, he had toured the Elks Lodge, where for the last few days thousands of hot meals have been served to the community.

"Hoboken is at the forefront of my mind," Christie said. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg also attended the press conference, as well as Congressman Albio Sires.

Christie said gas the rationing will remain in place until the power is fully restored. As more gas stations get their power back, lines have begun to shrink.

The governor also emphasized that there is no gas shortage in the state of New Jersey at the moment, but that it's just not possible to get to it at the moment. There's no need to stock up on gas, Christie said. 

"People should just calm down. Do not panic about it," he said.

Christie also announced that 22 million gallons of gas were sent down to be distributed between New York and New Jersey.

Thousands of electricians — including 8,000 from out of state — continue to work on restoring power to those who are still in the dark. Over the past days, Christie said, about 1.8 million people had their power restored.

As of Sunday afternoon, almost a million New Jersey residents were still without power, down from 2.7 million earlier in the week.

By the end of next week, Christie said he expects everybody to have power, except in the places that are so damaged that power restoration is impossible.

The water in New Jersey is safe to drink. Only four communities in the state still have a boil water advisory, Christie said.

A total of 4,400 representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are present all over the state. All New Jersey residents who suffered damage are encouraged to call 800-621-FEMA to register for relief funds. All of New Jersey's counties are subject to an emergency declaration, Christie said. New Jersey residents who have lost their job due to the hurricane could be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.

As far as Tuesday's elections, Christie said that all New Jersey residents will be able to vote. Back up generators will have to power some districts in the state. County clerk's offices are open, where people can go to vote.

"Polling places are going to be fine," he said, "Nobody should have an excuse not to vote on Tuesday."

Those who have been displaced from their homes will be able to vote by fax or email.

While a lot has been done to get back to normal, "there is still real hardship out there," Napolitano said. "We are not done with this storm."

A total of 4,000 people were still in shelters around the state as of Sunday afternoon, a number that does not include those who have evacuated to friends or family.

Christie said that he was happy to see New Jerseyans come together and help each other out in one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the area.

"This state is full of tough, gritty, no nonsense, emotional people," Christie said. "This state is a family. We pull together like a family."

The Mud Lady November 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Seriously, you, Debi, and hsr need to take a writing class together.
Concerned November 06, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Boy I could not handle reading all of this but one thing I know, there are many powered gas stations with no gas and our officials seem to not know this. I went out and drove my new circle of gas station route to hit many in one big circle in order to use as little gas as possible looking. Out of approx 12 I checked. 5 had power and no gas. Sad!!!
Vinnie Frantantoni November 06, 2012 at 03:56 AM
What a bunch of wimps we Americans have become! Are we so spoiled that we can't survive a week or two without power? Don't we all own blankets , coats, sweaters, & hats?? Are there so many of us dumb enough to not keep a supply of canned goods, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, & dry cereal?? How did our forefathers create this great country without electricity, central plumbing, paved roads, & WALMART??? Wake up, Americans! Our young men & women are fighting for us in 3rd world counties without all the luxuries we enjoy each day. Let's endure our temporary inconvenience and imagine how our military personal survive each day.
Brett Kaiser November 06, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Jersey Strong? What a bunch of cry babies. You had PLENTY of time to prepare for a slow moving storm. AND WHERE s everyone going over the weekend? The Malls are packed? STAY HOME. NOW you have to go to work????? GET READY FOR ROUND II
melikric November 06, 2012 at 04:42 AM
About time for Gov. Christi to enact his "or else" plans for JCPL / First Energy. Their power restoration "estimates" are straight from Alice in Wonderland.
Karma Police November 06, 2012 at 05:41 AM
seriously. if our frequency of natural disasters is going to be this ridiculous, i would at least like to be in perfect weather year round! :)
Terry November 06, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Well, Vinnie, many of our forefathers were slave owners who had their wood chopped and bed pans emptied by unpaid laborers. No one here has said they "can't survive", but are expressing frustration with the current situation. Sounds like free speech to me.
Terry November 06, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Tell us, won't you, what you know of the specifics of anyone's particular situation or degree of preparedness. The angry advice you deal out so loudly indicates that you must have superpowers.
Parsippany Taxpayer November 06, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Gov Christie is in a pipe dream with his private helicopter and no power issues of his own he can't relate to his constituents such as those in Parsippany where 5,000 households still don't have power. Sure the new normal -- no power, no heat, gas lines due to supply chain mismanagement at the state level and utility workers being turned away because they are union brothers. Just another day of corruption and being out of touch with the constituents. Need to vote this all talk and no action clown out of office next year.
Yankeefan November 06, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Actually, they did prevent power outages in a BIG way. Only a storm surge 2 feet above ever recorded knocked out every single one of the areas you speak of. Because those areas are coastal areas. Not exactly what I'm talking about here. We're talking about wind damage prevention. My comments are pertinent to the geographic area of this website. Montclair would be better served by burying it's powerlines and if you subtract out the total costs relating to repairs, inconvenience of no power, lost productivity, we'd have paid for that cost in the mere 20 years I'd lived here.
Parsippany Taxpayer November 06, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Vinnie -- must be nice to sit there in your warm home and tell us all to go suck it up. I served my country for 7 yers and expected those under me to step up just like I expect the government to step up in a time of need. The problem is the government isn't stepping up. So go back to your warm residence and get a clue. Everyone can always make the someone has it worse pitch.. But really where is the accountability in that.
abook November 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
He has failed in his job. This is part of his job. Having a disaster recovery plan in detail. not him, but whoever he appointed to have this in place. But no he was too busy campaining all over the country, using NJ state troopers at tax payer expense, He was too busy vetoing measures that would have brought revenues to pay for these needed recovery plans. Yet some love him what is it? his devil may care I am going to eat all I want attitude>what is it???
abook November 06, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I have had no power all this time, and I am fed up. It's not question of wimps.but of failed government, can you get that? I wil be going home tonight to cold and dark house. I will boil pots of water to make heat. I will sleep in 2 sweaters, 2 shirts, socks, 2 blankets. But, I am worried that me or one of my familly might perish in colder weather that is coming
abook November 06, 2012 at 08:50 PM
No one is saying he is not focused on this NOW. BUT where was his planning for this ??? where? I will tell you. ON his Youtube and his twitter. Campaining for Romney and the repub muckety pups. that is what is frustrating. here we are told we have this great governer.
O.J November 06, 2012 at 09:02 PM
If there's no damage to your property, you can get to to work, why not go to work. I don't see why people complain. If there's no power at my house, but I can get to work ,and there's power at work, I might as well get some work done, charge up my devices at work, and save a sick/vacation day. its better than staying at home with no power, complaining that there's no power.
abook November 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM
agreed OJ. I went to work on Wed. even though we had no internet and i need internet to do anything. But we had power there, Not of course in Fair lawn, still don't have. If this governer would have been focused on his job like he has sort of been this week, we would have had a recovery plan in place, not this scrambling around he is going blaming PSEG now. And i don't know if his forcing them to make all these forecasts now is not slowing them up.
Scondo November 06, 2012 at 09:24 PM
1 week after the largest natural disaster in the history of the region, second or third in the history of the nation and you are expecting someone to flip a switch and make it alright. This will take years to overcome, if at all. There is real serious talk about not funding sand replensihment and not allowing reconstruction on barrier islands, you may have witnessed the end of the era as it pertains to the shore.
Scondo November 06, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Amen. amen. PSE&G has for years had a disaster plan in place as has JCP&L and it invloves a mutual aid system, which brought all these skilled people into the region just as the same would happen if there was an ice storm in Virginia and Tennessee. The place where it fell down is on the local level when the localities did not have the equipment or personnel to clear dead wood from streets.
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NJarhead November 09, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Back at ya, thanks for the ignorant comment.
NJarhead November 09, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Try, you are such a hypocrite. "All I want is heat for my (kids)..." wasn't dramatic? So rather than doing what YOU can to provide heat for your kids (of which there are many ways), you will sit here and whine that someone else is repsonsible and "damn them!!" yadda, yadda. When this is over, I would agree that JCP&L's upper management be brought forward to answer some questions and be held accountable. I was pissed too, but I took care of my family first.
tlc November 11, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Hey vinnie are u still eating your peanut butter and crackers....dont eat it alll because we will propedly go thru this again.......
Terry November 11, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Propedly? Carumba!
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