Gov. Christie says federal requirements delaying Sandy aid
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP - Gov. Chris Christie drew applause by bashing the federal flood insurance program at a town hall in a community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Christie returned to Ocean County today for another community meeting focused on storm recovery.
The governor complained about the federal bureaucracy that he says is delaying the distribution of storm relief grants to affected residents.
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"$37 billion worth of damages," Christie told the crowd. "We're gonna get $10-15 billion in aid. That means some really difficult decisions have to be made and some folks who have been damaged are not going to get money."
Marina owner Beth Collis was among the more than 500 people who came out to hear the governor, and says that news is difficult to hear. She has been rebuilding her Bayville business at her own expense. "I got nothing," she says. "I actually got denied from the SBA three times."
Richard Swetits, of Bay Head, asked the governor to help get the federal government out of the flood insurance industry. "All around town I don't know anybody who's gotten 100 percent of their flood insurance," he says.
At a town hall two weeks ago in Monmouth County, Christie also heard complaints from residents still displaced by the storm.
Gov. Christie recently returned to holding town halls in loyal Republican areas, where he is known for commanding the crowd with a mix of straight talk and humor.
The possible 2016 presidential candidate has been carefully controlling his public appearances since an alleged political payback scandal erupted with revelations that his aides caused massive traffic backups as an act of retaliation.
For the entirety of Gov. Christie's town hall, watch the clips to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.