Nearly 100 percent power restoration this weekend, Christie says

SEASIDE PARK – Gov. Chris Christie said Friday he envisioned that nearly all those without power due to the superstorm will have it back this weekend.

“My belief is there will be almost 100 percent restoration by Saturday night,” he said during a press briefing here into storm restoration efforts.

Christie also said he envisioned that the evacuation order for Long Beach Island would be lifted by 6 a.m. Saturday.

In assessing damage from Hurricane Sandy and from the nor’easter that hit on Wednesday, Christie said that as of Friday afternoon, there were 240,000 people without power. He said about 97 percent of customers of PSE&G had power back, and about 84 percent of customers of JCP&L had power restored.

“This is our Katrina,’’ he said in reference to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans years ago.

Christie said that New Jersey deserves the same level of compassion and generosity that other states received following that hurricane. “I’ll be New Jersey’s biggest advocate,’’ he said.

Although President Obama has visited New Jersey once in the wake of the storm, and has plans to visit New York next week, there are no plans for Obama to visit New Jersey next week, Christie said. He added that he and Obama have had daily talks.

In summarizing other aspects of the storm’s effects, Christie said that gas rationing schedules have worked well to reduce long lines, approximately 80 percent of affected schools are operating again, and about 4,500 people remain in shelters.

Nearly 100 percent power restoration this weekend, Christie says