BRICK – Gov. Chris Christie painted a picture of two New Jerseys here today: Residents seeking a return to normalcy while at the same time grappling with “unfathomable” devastation.
At the opening of a Federal Emergency Management Assistance mobile disaster response center here, Christie said of the barrier islands, of places such as Bay Head and Mantoloking, that “you can’t recognize the places anymore. It is heartbreaking.”
And as for purchasing gasoline, Christie said that south of Route 195 about 90 percent of the service stations are open, but north of Route 195 only about 25 percent are open.
He said he has told Michele Brown, executive director of the Economic Development Authority, to look into what stations are closed and determine whether it was due to power outages or lack of gasoline to sell.
Christie also said that Gulf and Hess are going to be delivering gasoline to stations.
Christie gave updates and numbers of New Jersey’s recovery.
*Ten comfort stations for residents are going to be set up, with the first in Jersey City;
*Christie wants the Commissioner of Education to look into what schools are closed and why, whether it is due to lack of power or lack of gasoline for school buses. “We need to get kids back to school,’’ he said;
*About 1.4 million people remained without power this afternoon, down from about 1.7 million Thursday;
*Only five state roads remained closed down from a high of 524 at one point;
*Portions of Route 35 in Seaside Heights remain impassable with sand so high it comes up to a person’s calves, Christie said;
*Voting at county boards of elections will be possible over the weekend. In cases where power remains out, Christie said, there will be trucks available for posting of paper ballots;
*Just about all NJ Transit bus routes have been restored.